Wildcats still the team to beat

April 25, 2008|By DAN KAUFFMAN

Softball in Washington County is as good as it's been in several years - and No. 5 Williamsport continues to lead the charge.

The Wildcats - who last year brought a state softball title back to the county for the first time since Smithsburg in 1987 - are 10-1 and atop the hotly contested MVAL Antietam race at 5-1.

"I just think we've played some really tight games and they've played well," Williamsport coach Tom Dzur said. "The league is really tough this year. Smithsburg, Clear Spring and Boonsboro have really good pitching. Every game is a struggle. Several games we've had to battle, and God bless them, they're doing a great job."

Williamsport's lone loss was a 4-3 setback to Boonsboro (8-3, 4-1). The two teams meet again today at Boonsboro in a game that could decide the Antietam title.


The Wildcats are led by junior Kelly Beard, who has been sensational in the circle (6-1, 0.70 ERA, 27 hits and 10 walks allowed in 60 innings, 81 strikeouts) and at the plate (.436, four doubles, two triples, two homers).

"Her speed, the one game, you couldn't believe she was throwing that hard," Dzur said. "Her speed is hard to believe. It's moved up a few miles per hour. Her changeup is even better this year. When she throws it right, she really fools people. And her hitting, she has so much power and when she connects, she can hit some bombs."

Senior Emily Myers (.368, five doubles) has provided leadership and a big bat. The Wildcats also are getting major contributions from a pair of underclassmen - sophomore Felicia Bohn (.391, five doubles) and freshman Kayla Ewing (.381, two homers).

"We needed them to step up," Dzur said. "We lost six seniors last year, and they're starting to fill some shoes."

Presgraves impresses

Tyler Presgraves has homered in four straight games for the No. 4 South Hagers-town baseball team.

Since a solo home run last Thursday against Boonsboro - his first varsity homer - Presgraves has gone on a tear against Washington County pitchers.

The next day against Clear Spring the Rebels sophomore blasted a solo shot and followed it up with a two-run home run against Williamsport on Tuesday.

He also smacked a two-run shot in the bottom of the seventh of a 16-12 loss against Clear Spring on Wednesday.

"He is very mature for his age," said Rebels coach Ralph Stottlemyer. "He's a sophomore but he plays like a senior. He's just a natural."

Presgraves leads the Rebels in home runs despite hitting from the leadoff spot.

- Chris Carter

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