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Eagles find easy way by Indians

March 30, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - It was a day when routine was anything but for the Southern Fulton softball team.

Meanwhile, it was a routine Hedgesville could well get used to.

The easiest of plays found a crack in the Indians' defense and it opened the floodgates for an offensive onslaught by the Eagles, who matter-of-factly claimed a 15-0 victory on Monday in a game which was stopped after 2 1/2 innings by the 15-run mercy rule.

Hedgesville (2-1) put the pressure on the Indians from the start with Jenna Clark's leadoff bunt single and stolen base. The problems just started to snowball for Southern Fulton.

"We didn't make the routine plays," Southern Fulton coach Mike Shade said. "I can't ever remember getting beat 15-0 in 2 1/2 innings before. We played the entire game with runners on base. It kept the defense back on its heels, wondering what they will do with the ball when it was put in play."

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And the Eagles put the ball in play often, collecting 13 hits while benefiting from four Southern Fulton errors and five walks.

"Once you get the ball rolling, sometimes it's hard to stop," Hedgesville coach Larry Laing said. "Their coach said they didn't make the routine plays and that really hurt them. But you know how it is, hitting is contagious and we hit the ball well today."

The stage was set in the first inning when Clark laid down a bunt with backspin and legged it out for a single. She followed by stealing second before taking third on Emily Cunningham's single and scoring on a double steal.

It began a five-run rally capped by a Lisa Stanford's two-run double and Taylor Munson's RBI double.

"That's what we try to do," Laing said. "We try to establish that early if we can and that's what happened today. We got the bunts down early. That's the way we want to play."

Hedgesville added a run in the second, despite loading the bases with none out against starter Courtney Trainor.

The Eagles ended the game with all nine hitters in the order scoring in the third. The Indians (0-2) helped in the demise with three errors to prolong the inning, but Hedgesville ripped seven hits to help itself.

Munson added a triple and a single - each scoring runs - in the inning to finish with three-quarters of the cycle and three RBI. Cunningham, the winning pitcher, had three hits and two RBI. Clark added two hits and Jenny Finafrock added a three-run double to highlight the third inning.

Southern Fulton managed three singles off Cunningham.

"We're not hitting the ball yet," Shade said. "This is a young team and it's going to make mistakes."

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