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Myers keeps her cool to lift Williamsport

April 15, 2008|By ANDREW MASON

WILLIAMSPORT - Just imagine it: Scoreless tie, bottom of the seventh inning, two outs and runners on second and third base in Monday's softball game between Williamsport and Smithsburg.

How could anyone possibly stay calm?

"I was relaxed," said Williamsport's Emily Myers, who was the batter at the plate. "I've been having a problem with wanting to get a hit so badly that it's just kind of taken my focus off it.

"So I just knew I had to relax."

Myers indeed was focused. She smacked a hit up the middle to bring home Jordie Lord from third, lifting the Wildcats to a 1-0 MVAL Antietam victory.

"It's an amazing feeling," said Myers, who had two of Williamsport's three hits. "But without (Kelly Beard's) pitching, we wouldn't have been able to do it."

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Beard outdueled Smithsburg's Bethany Garnand, as both pitchers went the distance and were nearly flawless.

"It was a great game on both sides - a pitching duel, point blank," said Smithsburg coach Brian Getz, whose team fell to 6-4 (2-2). "(Beard) pitched an awesome game. She moved the ball around and controlled my batters."

Beard (4-1) finished with a one-hit shutout, striking out 13 while walking two. Garnand (6-4) pitched a three-hitter with 11 strikeouts and four walks.

"It was unbelievable," said Williamsport coach Tom Dzur, whose team improved to 7-1 (4-1). "(Beard) was dominating and the other pitcher was, too. You can't take a thing away from either one of them.

"Both teams made plays under a lot of pressure. No one was easily rattled. ... You knew it was going to come down to a single or something."

In the bottom of the seventh, Lord drew a one-out walk and stole second. With two outs, Felicia Bohn drew a walk - the first time in the game that either team had more than one runner on base at the same time. Both runners then advanced a base on a wild pitch, setting the stage for Myers.

"(Myers) has done so much for us in clutch situations," Dzur said. "I didn't know if she'd get a hit, but I knew she'd put it in play hard somewhere."

Beard's 13 strikeouts were one short of her career high, which she set against Smithsburg last year.

"I had a lot of speed on my fastball today, which helped me out a lot, and I was able to mix in the changeup every now and again," Beard said. "It was the most exciting game this year. It just went our way today."

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