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North's efficiency pays off

April 05, 2007|by TIM KOELBLE

If North Hagerstown softball coach Amanda Fleming had her way, the Hubs would show up to play every time just the way they did Wednesday.

North played flawlessly in the field in support of the pitching effort of Kelly Toms, who turned in a three-hit gem as the Hubs blanked Williamsport 5-0 in an MVAL Antietam contest.

"We had seven errors against Brunswick (on Monday) and none against Williamsport," said Fleming. "It's just a matter of which team comes to play, and today it was the right team."

Toms induced Williamsport batters into 14 groundouts. She had only one strikeout and gave Williamsport (3-2, 2-1) no extra opportunities by walking none.

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Only in the second inning did the Wildcats threaten. Beth Decker hit a two-out single, went to second on a wild pitch and then was held at third on a single by Laura Smith, before Toms got Sarah Hoover on a groundout.

"When we don't make any errors and work as a team, we can beat anyone," said Toms, who has been attending a pitching camp regularly for the past three years at Shippensburg University. "I had a good fastball low and inside and the changeup was working pretty good."

A single by Jess Patey in the fourth inning was the only other time Williamsport had anyone on base after the second inning.

North (3-3, 2-1) mustered only four hits off Jessica Bennett and manufactured each of its first two runs without a hit, both runs coming from leadoff batter Destanie Agee.

In the first, Agee walked, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by Brooke Powell.

With two outs in the fifth, Williamsport's defense collapsed.

Agee reached on a dropped fly ball by Amelia Plank in center. On a bouncer by Alyssa Collier and Agee on the go to second, Williamsport was guilty of a fielding error and two throwing errors with Agee scoring for a 2-0 North lead.

"We gave them about six outs that inning," said Williamsport coach Tom Dzur. "The wheels kind of came off the cart."

North added three runs in the sixth on a leadoff single by Tanaishia Russ. Carolyn Kreiger reached on an error and both scored on a line double by Toms. Courtesy runner Kenzie Strickland moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by Ashley Butler.

"When we're mentally focused, we're a good team," said Fleming. "We had a great defense today. The hitting will come around."

In the losing role, Bennett struck out seven Hubs and walked only two.

"I thought (Bennett) threw a real nice came," said Dzur. "She's been sick the last few days but came out and threw well."

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