Toms hits more spots than Leopards

March 31, 2007|By CHRIS CARTER

It took Kelly Toms an inning to figure out where she had to put the ball against Smithsburg on Friday.

When she found her spot, the Leopards had no shot.

Toms surrendered two first-inning singles before settling into her groove and the Hubs offense backed her up with eight runs in the second inning en route to an 11-1 win in the MVAL Antietam opener for both teams.

Toms scattered four hits, struck out eight and walked none in the complete game.

"At first I was leaving them high, but when I saw the strike zone was low, that's where I threw them," Toms said. "I threw mostly fastballs and just moved them around the plate."

Toms gave up singles to T'Bony Jewell and Bethany Garnand before escaping the first inning. She retired eight straight before Garnand smacked her second basehit in the top of the fourth. But once again, Toms got out of the inning unharmed.


Though she didn't need it, Toms had plenty of room for error after North poured it on in the second inning. The Hubs pounded out seven hits - three for extra bases - and they scored eight runs before making an out.

"The team was awesome. That gave me a lot of confidence," Toms said. "We jumped on the first pitch a lot and we just kept it going."

Caroline Kreiger led off with a triple and scored on Toms' single to give the Hubs a 1-0 lead. Amelia Plank followed with a run-scoring triple, and she came in to score when Ashlee Ernde reached on a swinging third strike to make it 3-0. After the Hubs plated two more on a misplayed ball in the outfield, Brooke Powell belted a two-run double and Tanaishia Russ capped the binge with an RBI single to up the score to 8-0.

"I just told them to go up there and swing the bat," said Hubs coach Amanda Fleming. "This team is capable of a lot more than they show. They just get down on themselves too early sometimes."

Toms struck out the side in the fifth inning, but opened the sixth by beaning Emily Bolton. Bolton moved to third on a pair of groundouts and she scored on a double by Garnand to put the Leopards (0-2, 0-1) on the board at 8-1.

But North (2-2, 1-0) answered in the bottom of the sixth. Russ and Kreiger each hit one-out singles and Toms followed with a walk to load the bases. After a fielder's choice at home made two outs, Ernde doubled off the glove of Jewell at first baseman, clearing the bases to incite the 10-run rule.

The Hubs didn't commit an error and only three balls left the infield. Russ, Kreiger and Toms each finished with two hits, while Ernde and Powell each had two RBI. Destanie Agee swiped two bases.

Garnand led the Leopards with three hits and struck out five in the loss.

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