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Leopards strike first, hold off Boonsboro

April 17, 2004|by CHRIS CARTER

BOONSBORO - Smithsburg softball coach Brian Getz knows the importance of getting an early lead and protecting it.

His players learned it as the Leopards scored four first-inning runs and held off Boonsboro's seventh-inning rally to defeat the Warriors 5-2 in MVAL Antietam action.

"In any game you want to be the first to get a lead," Getz said. "When you strike first, you put something in the other team."

Four of the first five Smithsburg batters reached base, giving the Leopards a 1-0 lead. Brittany Biser followed with a three-run triple for a 4-0 advantage.

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The cushion was enough for Leopards starter Alyssa Reed, who went the distance and fanned nine for her fourth win of the season. She tossed six scoreless innings, before yielding two runs - one earned - during the Boonsboro rally in the bottom of the seventh.

"Alyssa has been pitching very well lately," said Getz. "She pitches very smart when she gets going and she is very good at reading the batters."

It wasn't all smooth sailing for Reed, though, as the Warriors put runners on base in three of the first five innings. But Reed was able to work her way out of each of the jams unharmed.

"(Reed) pitched well and was consistent," said Boonsboro coach John O'Neal. "But the thing we need to work on is getting hits with runners on base, and it really showed today."

When the Warriors finally were able to get things going, it was too little, too late.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Britnee Harbaugh reached base on a throwing error. Kourtney Marshall scored Harbaugh on a triple to left field for the first Boonsboro run. Caroline Woodhams then singled home Marshall to cut the lead to 5-2, but Reed shut the door with a game-ending groundout.

Woodhams finished with two hits and Janet Cole doubled for Boonsboro (2-8, 1-4).

Kasie Beaver had two hits and two RBI and Reed had two hits and two runs scored for the Leopards (4-4, 3-1).

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