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Hancock holds off Boonsboro in defensive struggle

March 27, 2004|by BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

HANCOCK - The Hancock softball team is 3-0.

The credit for such a feat is anyone's who wants to claim it.

Hancock sophomore pitcher Adrienne Kesecker scattered three hits while the Panthers' defense made a first-inning run stand up Friday for a 1-0 win over Boonsboro.

Kesecker struck out four without issuing a walk to outduel Boonsboro's Jessie Hammersla, who suffered her second 1-0 loss this week. The Warriors fell to Linganore by the same count Monday.

Hammersla handcuffed Hancock hitters through the middle innings but couldn't overcome a mental error in the first inning when the Warriors left third base uncovered and Hancock's Jenna Demory scored from second on Nina Chiaruttini's sacrifice.

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Despite the tight victory, none of the Panthers were willing to accept praise.

"I learned you are only as good as your weakest player," Chiaruttini said. "We don't recognize weakness on this team. Adrienne (Kesecker) was really on today. But Katie's (Golden) catch in centerfield was a real gamemaker."

"My defense played a great game," Kesecker said, deflecting praise for her performance. "Aimee Barton was really smooth at short, but everyone played so well."

After the first, both teams settled in for a battle of tough defense, clutch pitching and some spectacular plays.

With two outs in the top of the seventh, Boonsboro designated hitter Katie Sirbaugh drove a liner to deep right-center. Golden got a late jump on the ball but closed the gap quickly, making a basket catch after colliding with rightfielder Ashley Creek. Both players tumbled to the ground, but Golden maintained possession of the ball to preseve the win.

"That play typifies the attitude of these kids," Hancock coach Heather Creek said. "Katie focused and came up big for us. But there were enough pats on the back to go around for everyone."

Some of those pats were sent over to Boonsboro even in the loss as both coaches had reason to be happy about their teams after the first full week of action.

"We hit the ball a little better tonight," Creek said. "There are some things we will be doing better next week, like sliding and baserunning, but this was a good win for us."

"I'm pleased with Brittany Harbaugh and Kourtney Marshall at the plate," Boonsboro coach John O'Neal said. "They are disappointed, I'm sure, but things will start to work for them.

"We are working hard together as a group. At this point, it is a marathon and not a sprint."

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