Beard's strikes spare 'Cats, bowl over Hubs

April 06, 2006|by CURT HORNBECKER/Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - For Kelly Beard, it was simply a matter of throwing strikes.

But for Tom Dzur, it wasn't quite that easy.

"This is our fourth close game in a row. ... That's hard on an old man," said Dzur after his Williamsport softball team escaped with a 4-3 MVAL Antietam win over North Hagerstown Wednesday.

The Hubs collected a pair of singles in the seventh off Beard, the Wildcats' starter, but a double play thwarted a possible game-tying rally.

"I just knew I had to throw strikes," said Beard. "I knew the defense would cover my back."

North's defense, however, didn't fare quite so well.

A pair of third-inning errors and two wild pitches helped Williamsport break a 1-1 tie and gave the Wildcats a lead they never relinquished.


Beard reached on a Beth Burdick error to lead off the inning, and moved to third on successive wild pitches by Hubs pitcher Ashley McCallister. Myers followed with a walk before Jessica Patey grounded to third, forcing Myers at second and scoring Beard.

Patey moved to second when North's Tanaisha Russ mishandled an attempted pickoff throw and scored on Courtney Hutchinson's single.

"I talk to the girls all the time about being mentally prepared for the game," said Hubs coach Amanda Fleming. "Then they lose their focus and that's what gets us."

Brooke Powell singled and scored for North in the fourth on a Patey error to close the gap to 3-2, but the Wildcats responded with a run in the fifth on an Emily Huff walk, singles by Megan Deavers and Beard and an RBI fielder's choice by Myers.

Alyssa Collier's double and a Jen Bowlus RBI single moved North within 4-3 in the top of the sixth.

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