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Bennett makes pair of runs stand up for 'Cats

May 15, 2007|by CONNER GILBERT / Staff Correspondent

WILLIAMSPORT - No. 4-seed Williamsport needed only two runs to defeat No. 5-seed Fort Hill 2-0 on Monday, thanks to the stellar pitching of Jessica Bennett.

Bennett tossed a four-hit shutout, striking out eight in the Maryland Class 1A West quarterfinal. She retired 13 in a row after allowing a leadoff single in the first inning.

"She had an outstanding game," said Williamsport coach Tom Dzur. "She was in total control."

Fort Hill starter Cierra Miller matched Bennett pitch for pitch until Williamsport (14-5) broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth. Emily Myers led off the inning with an infield single, followed by Bennett's walk. After a flyout, Jessica Patey singled to left to score Myers. Casey Siler's groundout to third drove in Bennett.

Miller left the game after 4 1/3 innings, and was charged with two runs on six hits. She walked three and struck out four.

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Bennett locked down Fort Hill, forcing the Sentinels to strand three runners in scoring position in the last two innings. After a leadoff double in the top of the sixth, Bennett retired the next five.

With the tying run on second and two outs in the seventh, Bennett got a strikeout to end the game.

"I was trying to throw a whole bunch of different pitches," said Bennett. "The defense did well."

Bennett helped her cause at the plate with two hits and a walk. Myers had a pair of infield singles. The Wildcats left nine runners on base.

"You'd like to have more than two runs," Dzur said. "But we just have to play good defense and let the pitching do what it can."

Williamport travels to top-seed Catoctin on Wednesday in the semifinals. The Wildcats and Cougars split their two MVAL Antietam games.

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