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Hudson delivers clutch winner for Smithsburg

April 03, 2008|By TIM KOELBLE

SMITHSBURG - Smithsburg softball coach Brian Getz was more than happy to be proven wrong Wednesday in the Leopards' MVAL Antietam opener against Clear Spring.

The Leopards rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out a 4-3 win over Clear Spring as freshman Dani Hudson delivered a two-out, game-winning single.

"We're a young team and we talked before the game about getting off to a fast start," said Getz. "Because we're young, I didn't think we were a comeback team, but they proved me wrong today."

The effort was even more rewarding for the Leopards because they did it against hard-throwing Christina Mehaffie, who had allowed only a bad-hop single in the third inning when Smithsburg (4-2, 1-0) scored its first run.

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Mehaffie appeared in total control, her team breaking a 1-1 tie in the top of the fifth when catcher Hannah Lazear stroked a two-run triple off Bethany Garnard. She had not walked a batter and had seven strikeouts entering the final inning.

Emily Bolton led off Smithsburg's seventh with a double and scored when Danielle Beaver's grounder was misplayed.

After a strikeout and groundout, the Leopards were down to their last batter and that was another freshman - Katie Sprecher. After a wild pitch enabled Beaver to move to second, Sprecher delivered a single to center field that brought in Beaver.

Mehaffie issued her only walk to freshman Jessica Hartman that moved Sprecher to second and put the hopes on the shoulders of Hudson, another freshman, who produced a looper over second to score Sprecher for the winner.

"It's a bad taste, a close game and we didn't make plays when we had to," said Clear Spring coach Ron Baker, also noting an error that was critical in allowing Smithsburg's first run in the third. "(Mehaffie) pitched a great game and when you score three runs, you should win, and we should have won 3-0."

Clear Spring took a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning off Garnand, who relieved Decker in the second after Decker had allowed a single, a walk and hit two batters.

The Blazers (1-2, 0-1) could have opened up the margin early, leaving the bases loaded in the second inning and leaving runners at second and third in the third.

"The kids got down on themselves with some errors but came back and we got key hits from freshmen," Getz said.

"I think there's a lot of parity in the county this year so that means you can't give anyone anthing," said Baker.

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