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Hubs are shut out

March 27, 2004|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

North Hagerstown softball coach Amanda Fleming is half sure the Hubs' offensive problems are 90 percent mental.

"It's all mental in our heads that we can't hit a fast pitcher like (Linganore's Jo Kralowetz), and we can," Fleming said after North dropped a 4-0 decision to the Lancers on Friday afternoon. "They have to believe in themselves before it's going to happen for them.

"We work on bat speed in practice and we're fine then, but we get out here and it's like it's in their heads that they can't do it."

Kralowetz (2-1) bottled up the Hubs using mostly a fastball, allowing four hits and a walk while striking out 11 in a complete-game effort. Linganore's junior ace has 32 strikeouts in three games.

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North's best chance came in the fifth inning when, trailing 2-0, leadoff batter Kelly Toms singled and, after two strikeouts, Ashley Rider worked a seven-pitch walk. The runners moved up a base on a wild pitch, but Kralowetz got her third strikeout of the inning to escape the only serious jam she got in.

Linganore (2-1) took the lead in the third when Sarah Crisp's two-run bloop single to shallow right field landed just out of the reach of Hubs right fielder Stephanie Horchner, scoring Jen Crisp and Beth Newton.

The Lancers added two insurance runs in the sixth on Lindsay Seal's single, a fielder's choice, a throwing error, a groundout and a wild pitch.

On her 15th birthday, Toms went the distance in the circle for North (0-2), giving up two earned runs on five hits and three walks while striking out six.

"She's doing a great job as a freshman," Fleming said. "She's going to be really good as a senior."

Jen Watson had two hits for Linganore. Emma Sirface, Sierra Routzahn and Ashley Rider had the other hits - all singles - for North.

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