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Sister act lifts Trojans to win

March 27, 2004|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Sisters don't leave each other hanging.

After Chambersburg junior Melissa Swartz reached base on an error to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning, her younger sister, sophomore Emily, smashed a two-run homer to right-center field to break a scoreless tie with Central Dauphin East on Friday.

"I told her I wasn't going to leave her hanging out there. I was going to bring her in," Emily Swartz said. "I knew I was going to make something happen."

An inning later, the Swartzes cracked back-to-back RBI triples to fuel a six-run outburst for the Trojans, who went on to win 8-1 in the season opener for each team at Memorial Park.

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"Once you get the momentum going, it just keeps going," Emily Swartz said. "It just flows."

The game couldn't have come soon enough for PIAA power Chambersburg, winner of 16 straight Mid-Penn division titles and 11 of the last 16 District 3 crowns.

The last time the Trojans were on the field, they fell 5-1 to Elizabethtown in the first round of the district playoffs.

"Last year was an eye-opener. Everyone's just trying harder now," said junior Rachelle Everhart, who pitched the last four innings Friday to pick up the win. "We were definitely looking forward to this game. It was intense in the beginning, but we stuck together and beat them."

Chambersburg's Jessica Wallick and CD East's Cori Saltzer matched goose eggs on the mound through three innings, each allowing two base runners while striking out a pair.

The Trojans advanced a runner to third base with one out in each the second and third inning, but failed to score. In the second, Becky Brensinger tripled to right-center but was easily thrown out at the plate trying to stretch it into a homer.

"She's our fastest kid. You have to make them make a good throw," said Chambersburg coach Harvey Staver, who waved her home. "We had the same situation with Emily Swartz (in the fourth inning) and we sent her and she scored."

Fortunately for the Trojans, that first play at the plate never came back to haunt them. After managing just three hits through four innings, Chambersburg erupted for six hits during its six-run fifth.

Lindsay Hinton and Leeann Comfort each had an RBI single, Lindsay Tritle hit an RBI double and the Mertz sisters drove in two with triples. Everhart, who got the inning going with a single, scored on an error.

Emily Swartz was the only Trojan with multiple hits, going 2-for-3.

Christina White went 2-for-3 for the Panthers, accounting for half of their hits. She also scored their lone run, as CD East hit three straight singles with two outs in the seventh. Saltzer, who pitched 4 1/3 innings, took the loss.

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