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Shaff's clutch hit lifts Blazers over Rebels

April 19, 2008|By Larry Yanos

CLEAR SPRING - Ashley Shaff delivered a clutch bases-loaded single in the bottom of the seventh inning Friday, lifting Clear Spring's softball team to a 5-4 win over South Hagerstown.

Shaff grounded the ball through the hole between first and second after the Blazers (4-6) loaded the bases with no outs against South reliever Mallory White.

With the score knotted at 4, Amanda Yost got Clear Spring started in the seventh inning with a sharp single to center field.

White walked Meagan Price and Lindsay Trumpower before Shaff delivered the winning hit against a drawn-up infield.

"She has been in a little slump but she's starting to come out of it and she certainly came through for us," Clear Spring coach Ron Baker said. "I liked the way we came back (after wasting a 4-1 lead). I tell you, there's a lot of parity in the MVAL this year. We've lost four one-run games or our record would be a lot better."

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Baker said pitching was the key to Friday's victory.

"Pitching saved us," Baker said. "(Damara) McDonough gave us five strong innings and (Christina) Mehaffie was strong in relief. I wasn't surprised by the close game. That's the way the MVAL has been all season long."

Shaff and Leazier collected three hits each for Clear Spring, while Diane Draper added two hits.

Desiree Giffin led South (4-7) with three hits, while Brittany Hyatt - the leading hitter in the Tri-State area - and Elisabeth Sharpe added two hits each. The Rebels hurt themselves with six errors.

"It's the same old story, we've been in every game but mistakes usually cost us," Rebels coach Angie McQuillen said. "Again, we didn't quit and we had our chances but you just can't make that many mistakes and win games."

Chelsea Showe pitched the first five innings for South and left with the score tied at 4.

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