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Brandenburg mows down Rebels

April 21, 2005|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

Alicia Brandenburg was throwing strikes, clowning with her Catoctin teammates and having a grand ol' time.

Life is good when you're at the head of the MVAL Antietam class.

Brandenburg threw her eighth shutout of the season against South Hagerstown on Wednesday, allowing five hits and striking out 11 as the No. 2 Cougars stayed undefeated in the conference with a 5-0 victory.

"Every time I get (in the circle) as a pitcher, I have to be able to clear my head," said Brandenburg. "I might joke around and have a few laughs, but when I'm out there with the catcher, I have to be in the zone."

"It's taken her a while to settle into that," Cougars coach Amy Hunt said. "There are times she's really serious, and she's learned to relax. ... I encourage all of them to stay relaxed. That doesn't work for every team, but it helps this team."

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Brandenburg gave up just five singles - two to Rebels freshman Brittany Hyatt - and got out of jams in the fourth and fifth innings to lead Catoctin (11-1, 9-0) to its ninth shutout in 10 games.

In doing so, Brandenburg outdueled South senior Jamie Fowler - a teammate of Brandenburg's on the Frederick Heartbreakers traveling team. Fowler allowed six hits and the five runs - three which were unearned off two errors - while striking out six for the Rebels (5-4, 5-4).

"Jamie pitched well. Defensively, we made mistakes," South coach Angela Jeffries said. "I told the girls at the beginning of the game, you can't make mistakes. ... The team that makes the least mistakes wins the game. They were the better team, and they won. We made two mistakes."

Brandenburg helped her cause with an RBI double in the first inning, while Kasey Stiles added an RBI triple in the frame for a 2-0 lead. Sara Wastler's RBI triple in the third made it 3-0. In the fifth, Wastler drove in a run with a bunt single and Brandenburg drove in another with a sacrifice fly for the final score.

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