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Pracitice what you pitch

Beard puts in work to hone craft, lift 'Cats past Leopards

Beard puts in work to hone craft, lift 'Cats past Leopards

April 27, 2007|by JACK HILL III / Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG - Kelly Beard struck out 14 batters without allowing an earned run in seven innings to lead Williamsport to an 8-2 win over Smithsburg on Thursday in an MVAL Antietam softball game.

"I had to mix up my pitches to keep them off-balance and I had to throw strikes," Beard said. "Practice pays off. I have got to keep practicing. I was a little stressed in the beginning. But when the team started hitting, I knew I could relax and throw strikes."

Beard let her teammates do a lot of the work to help her to the complete-game victory.

"I know I have my defense behind me," Beard said. "I am glad that my hitters were there for me to help me get the win. I hope that we can keep hitting and that our pitchers can keep doing well."

Beard (3-1) surrendered two walks and five hits.

"Kelly Beard's pitching was phenomenal," Williamsport coach Tom Dzur said. "Her fastball had tremendous zip and movement on it. Her changeups were thrown in beautiful locations and they were almost impossible to hit."

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Beard retired 10 straight Leopards from the second through fifth innings.

Jessica Bennett started both rallies for the Wildcats. The first rally started with a leadoff double in the fourth. The second rally was a product of a leadoff triple in the fifth. Casey Siler added two hits and two RBIs, while Emily Huff also had two hits.

Williamsport (9-4, 7-3) erased an early 2-0 deficit by scoring six runs in the top of the fourth, highlighed by RBI singles by Siler and Huff. Beth Decker and Sarah Duffey scored on infield errors and Alexis Fisher, the ninth hitter in the Wildcats' batting order, added a two-run double to left.

The Wildcats got their final two runs in the fifth on RBI singles by Patey and Siler.

Smithsburg pitcher Bethany Garnand struck out nine without issuing a walk, but was touched for three earned runs in seven innings.

"Both pitchers pitched a really good game," Smithsburg coach Brian Getz said, whose Leopards fell to 2-10, 1-9. "They combined for 23 strikeouts. Williamsport's offense came alive in the fourth inning. The errors in the fourth inning killed us."

"We finally started smacking the ball and we were very aggressive," Dzur said.

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