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JB's West no-hits Blazers

May 08, 2003|by JACK HILL III

CLEAR SPRING - A negative for the Clear Spring Blazers turned out to be a positive for the James Buchanan Rockets.

That happened when junior pitcher Susan West hurled a no-hitter to help the Rockets zip by the Blazers 10-0 on Wednesday in a high school softball game that was stopped after five innings because of the 10-run rule.

West struck out 11 batters in five innings to raise her pitching record to 10-3 for James Buchanan (12-4).

"I'm happy about the no-hitter," West said. "I was just throwing it. I tried to work my pitches a little bit tonight. They helped me out a lot by swinging. I feel pretty good about 11 strikeouts."

The only two baserunners to reach for Clear Spring (5-11) were Jamie Poffenberger on a two-out walk in the bottom of the first inning and Tawnya Blair on a dropped pop-up to lead off the fourth. That was the only error that the Rockets committed.

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"Defense, defense, defense," West said. "They did awesome tonight. I'm really happy with the way that they played. I thought that my team was in control for the entire game. There wouldn't have been any no-hitter if it wasn't for the defense. Our team was hitting good tonight all through the lineup. They were giving me a lot of support."

Both Jess Vance and Tiara Eckstein finished with three hits, three RBI and one run scored for the Rockets.

James Buchanan led the entire game as it started off by scoring two runs in the top of the first. Vance got the one-out rally going with a single to left and took second on a wild pitch. Junior catcher Courtney West, Susan's twin sister, doubled to center to drive in Vance. West then came around to score on a pair of wild pitches.

The Rockets got a run in the second when Britney Athorton scored on an RBI single to left by Vance.

James Buchanan increased its advantage to 8-0 with five runs in the third on a two-run single by Eckstein, an RBI single by Sara Rentz and a two-run single by Vance.

The Rockets added a run in the fourth on an RBI single by Eckstein and another one in the fifth on a dropped third strike.

"I would like to have been on the other end of the no-hitter," Clear Spring coach Rich Poffenberger said. "She threw the ball real well. She is one of the better pitchers that we have faced this year. I would like to have a couple of pitchers like that. She did a good job. It was hard to hit her. We are struggling with the bats right now. We'll have to see what happens come playoff time."

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