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Leopards walk away with first victory

March 25, 2006|By JACK HILL III

HANCOCK

The Smithsburg softball team used patience at the plate and aggressive baserunning to get its offense going against Hancock on Friday.

The Leopards drew 11 walks, stole five bases and beat the Panthers 11-7 for their first win of the season.

"We got a little bit complacent and then we got out of our shell," Smithsburg coach Brian Getz said. "We became a team tonight. Our offense came around tonight. We started hitting. Our baserunning came through and that really helped us to advance the runners. We're coming along. If we don't become complacent, then we will be successful."

Senior shortstop Kasie Beaver had two hits, two RBI and two runs scored for the Leopards (1-1).

Smithsburg junior Erika Mong stole two bases and pitched the first five innings for the win. Freshman Bethany Garnand went the final two innings to get the save for the Leopards.

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Hancock pitcher Kris Creek fanned seven in seven innings. Creek also helped the Panthers' offense with two hits, including an RBI triple, three runs scored and two stolen bases. Catcher Brittany Moats also had two hits for Hancock (0-1).

"We did fairly well for our first game," Hancock coach Leslie Rotz said. "We are a young and inexperienced team. I think that we will get better. I think that we will be someone to contend with."

Smithsburg led the entire game, scoring five runs during the top of the first inning. Beaver stole home for the first run. Mong ripped a two-run double to left and scored on a double steal, and Steph Eastep added an RBI single.

Hancock reduced the deficit to 5-2 with two runs in the bottom of the first on an RBI groundout by Hayley Ruppenthal and a throwing error.

The Leopards extended their lead to 7-2 with two runs in the top of the second on a throwing error and a sacrifice fly to center by Teonna Jewell.

The Panthers responded with two runs in the bottom of the second to cut the lead to 7-4 on an RBI triple to left by Creek and an RBI single to left by Moats.

Smithsburg upped its lead to 8-4 with a run in the top of the third on T'Bony Jewell's single to center.

Hancock got one run in the bottom of the third on a throwing error and one more run in the fourth on another RBI groundout by Ruppenthal to slice the lead to 8-6.

The Leopards scored three runs during the top of the seventh to increase their advantage to 11-6 when Beaver clubbed a two-run double to center and scored on a throwing error on the play.

The Panthers scored their final run in the bottom of the seventh when Samantha Munday drew a bases-loaded walk.

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