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Indians back in Final Four

May 27, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - In Greg Brown's seven years as coach, the Berkeley Springs girls softball team has made four trips to the West Virginia Final Four, only to leave for home without gold.

Beginning Thursday at 8:30 a.m., the Indians hope to change that fortune as they appear again in the Final Four in Summersville, W.Va., in the Class AA double-elimination fray.

Berkeley Springs goes against Lewis County and will return at 4 p.m. against one of the other two semifinalists - Shady Spring or Winfield.

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"I don't know how to rate our chances," Brown said. "This year in West Virginia has been one with upsets. Usually the same teams are here year in, year out, but Shady Spring is the only one this time.

"It will be a competitive state," Brown said. "We just need to play our game. It depends on who shows up. Some days it's our defense, some days the pitching saves us."

Berkeley Springs downed Tyler in the regionals and Petersburg in the sub-regional after taking two of three from Frankfort in the sectionals.

A pair of seniors leads the talented Indians, who went 20-10 this year.

Pitcher Julie Scherpf and catcher Jess Detrick form a nasty battery that makes opponents wary.

Scherpf is the primary hurler and usually gets the call in clutch games. Detrick leads the team in hitting with an average around .415, Brown said.

"Our lineup hits top to bottom," Brown said. "In the regionals, a big hit came from a freshman. In the sectionals, everyone was hitting except the 3 and 4 spots."

Brown said he expects to see some formidable pitching, usually a strong point of teams reaching this position.

"We want to get the ball in play any way we can," he said. "If that means we bunt, that's what we'll do."

Berkeley Springs' outcome Thursday will predicate Friday's final results.

"All the girls are excited," Brown said. "On any given day, everything (pitching, hitting, defense) works for you, but we at least hope two of three is working."

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