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County teams dive into playoff pool

May 11, 2007|by DAN KAUFFMAN

Today marks the start of the Maryland prep baseball and softball playoffs (weather permitting), with regional first-round matchups taking place across the map.

Baseball

Class 1A West

MVAL Antietam rivals will square off in a pair of games.

No. 6 Smithsburg (8-12) hosts No. 11 Catoctin (9-10). The Cougars and Leopards split their season series, with each team winning by one run on its home field - Catoctin 4-3 on April 2, Smithsburg 8-7 on April 23.

Smithsburg has won three of its last four games. Offensively, the Leopards are led by Josh Conway and his .480 average.

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No. 7 Clear Spring (9-7) hosts No. 10 Williamsport (10-8). The Blazers and Wildcats also split their season series, with the home team prevailing in each game - Williamsport 6-2 on April 18, Clear Spring 11-3 on May 4.

Through May 2, Wildcats catcher A.J. Jamison was hitting .618 - tops in Washington County. Chad Bikle (.471) and Nick Bodnar (.448) add depth to Williamsport's lineup. The Blazers' top offensive threat is Aaron Mills (.475)

No. 5 Brunswick (7-11) welcomes No. 12 Hancock (3-15). The Panthers have lost eight straight.

No. 3 Boonsboro (11-7) has a first-round bye and will host the Smithsburg-Catoctin winner on Monday.

Class 2A West

No. 12 North Hagerstown (8-10) travels to No. 5 Frederick (10-10). These two teams opened the season against each other, with the Hubs pulling out a 5-2 victory on their home field.

Marcellus Sumlin went 3-for-3 in the opener and leads North with a .473 average.

No. 1 South Hagerstown (13-3) has a first-round bye.

Softball

Class 1A West

No. 9 Hancock (6-11) and host No. 8 Clear Spring (6-12) get a third matchup in their rivalry.

The Blazers swept the season series, taking a 4-3 win at Hancock on March 28 in the season opener for both teams, then rolling a 10-0 victory at Clear Spring on April 24 behind Christina Mehaffie's no-hitter. Alisha Commer leads Clear Spring with her .333 average.

No. 7 Smithsburg (3-15) hosts No. 10 Westmar (10-6). Bethany Garnand leads the Leopards with her .300 average, and she has eight of the team's 12 total extra-base hits (five doubles, three homers). In the circle, she has struck out 186 in 116 innings.

No. 4 Williamsport (12-5) welcomes No. 13 Southern Garrett (7-8). The Wildcats have won four of their last five games.

Williamsport has the most balance of any Washington County softball team. At the plate, Casey Siler (.386), Jessica Bennett (.358), Jess Patey (.340, five homers) and Kelly Beard (.314) lead the way. In the circle, Bennett (4-2, 0.35 ERA), Beard (3-2, 0.66) and Emily Huff (5-1, 1.52) are all solid.

No. 11 Boonsboro (9-9) travels to No. 6 Northern Garrett (5-12). The Warriors have won four straight to get to .500.

Class 2A West

No. 10 South Hagerstown (6-10) travels to No. 7 Clarksburg. The Rebels closed the regular season strong with two victories.

Shortstop Brittany Hyatt leads Washington County with her .540 average and she also has nine doubles and four homers. Desiree Giffin (.431) and Bri Hammond (.347) are also dangerous at the plate.

No. 6 North Hagerstown (8-9) hosts No. 11 Northwood. The Hubs stagger into the playoffs having lost three of their last four games.

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