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Right place, right time - Devils hold off Trojans

May 11, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - At this stage of the season, Greencastle-Antrim freshman Rochelle Christman has seen enough varsity softball action that her "rookie" status can be shed.

Wednesday, Christman received her indoctrination playing against rival Chambersburg, and she was in the right place at the right time to become an important factor in No. 2 Greencastle's 3-1 victory over No. 1 Chambersburg.

With Greencastle (16-2) holding a 3-1 lead, Chambersburg's first two batters reached base in the bottom of the fifth inning against Greencastle ace Sarah Signore and were moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt.

Jordan Sanders, who had a pair of singles earlier in the game, stepped to the plate and ripped a liner straight at Christman at third base. Christman backtracked and stepped on third for a twin-killing to end the threat.

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"(Rochelle) hasn't really seen a whole lot of plays at third base, but she came through for us in the clutch and that was simply a huge play she made," said Greencastle coach Jamie Richardson, in agreement that it was probably the hardest hit ball the entire game.

"I was excited to get a play come to me," said Christman, who was just inside the bag and about 2 feet off the line. "It came to me ... it was just another play."

Signore said, "It was unbelievable to see that double-play ball."

Greencastle drew first blood against Trojans pitcher Allie Rife with a run in the second on a single by Whitney Meyers and a three-base error. Chambersburg knotted the score in its half of the third on singles by Jessica Rotz and Emily Swartz, a sacrifice by Tara Cole and an infield single by Sanders.

What proved to be the winning runs came in Greencastle's fourth and could have been more had it not been for an unusual double play.

With one down, Samantha Phillips singled and scored on a triple by Stephanie Zeis, who then scored on a perfectly executed suicide-squeeze bunt by Emily Wissinger. Then, a bunt single by Roxanne Dewalt turned into two outs as Wissinger was out trying to reach third, followed by Dewalt's unsuccessful effort at reaching second.

However, Signore found her groove in the last two innings.

After a leadoff single in the Chambersburg sixth, Signore retired the next three batters on strikeouts and followed with two of her eight strikeouts in the seventh inning.

"I just knew I had to pull things out in the last two innings," said Signore.

Chambersburg beat Greencastle last year 1-0 after the Blue Devils had won 4-3 in extra innings in 2004.

"This (win) is a good measuring stick for us," said Richardson. "It helps get us ready for the playoffs. I told the players after the JB game last week we had to starting picking it up."

Greencastle begins postseason play Monday against Gettysburg.

Chambersburg coach Harvey Staver is hoping his troops can get some life back in their bats.

"Everything the last four games boils down that nobody has hit in the clutch," said Staver. "We have to get some clutch hits. Today, if that ball (Sanders' smash) goes anywhere else, we score two runs."

Staver had expected to play Central Dauphin in the playoff opener, but wasn't sure who the opponent would be following some changes that involved another game Wednesday night. The Trojans, however, will play in Newville on Tuesday.

Wissinger had two of Greencastle's eight hits and also reached base after being hit by a pitch. Swartz had three of Chambersburg's seven hits.

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