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Beard pitches Williamsport past Leopards

May 03, 2008|By Jack Hill III

SMITHSBURG - Williamsport junior Kelly Beard fired a three-hitter with a walk and 10 strikeouts, leading the No. 5 Wildcats past Smithsburg 5-2 in an MVAL Antietam softball game Friday.

Beard improved to 9-2 for Williamsport (13-2, 7-2).

"Basically, I just wanted to keep them off-balance with a lot of changeups," Beard said. "I kind of kept my changeup low to make them chase it. I felt good warming up. I guess I just had a good game."

Beard helped her own cause by driving in three runs.

"You can never win a game without hitting the ball," Beard said. "I am one of the team leaders this year. I felt I had to come through for us to give us more run support. Our record is better than last year. As long as we keep hitting, I think that we can go pretty far this year."

Wildcats catcher Emily Myers finished with two doubles and two runs, while shortstop Kayla Ewing also had two hits.

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"Kelly pitched a heck of a game," Williamsport coach Tom Dzur said. "She hit her spots and she was in control. She got into a few jams, but she pitched out of them. I am very proud of our team. We have made a lot of adjustments and we have done well."

Leopards pitcher Bethany Garnand fanned seven and issued just one walk. Danielle Beaver had two of the three hits for Smithsburg (8-9, 2-7).

The Wildcats led the whole way after scoring three runs in the first inning. Myers led off with a double to center and moved to third when Alexis Fisher singled to center. After Fisher stole second, Myers came home when Beard grounded out to shortstop. Ewing singled to left to knock in Fisher. Ewing came around to score on a pair of throwing errors.

The Leopards got a run back in the bottom of the first to reduce the deficit to 3-1. Emily Bolton reached on an infield error and came around to score on a throwing error.

The score stayed 3-1 until the top of the seventh, when Beard ripped a two-run double to expand the Wildcats' lead to 5-1.

The Leopards got their final run in the bottom half when Beaver singled home Katie Sprecher.

"Kelly Beard had great pitch selection," Smithsburg coach Brian Getz said. "She used all of her pitches. Her changeups kept us off-balance. We got some people in scoring position, but we couldn't score them. Bethany pitched a pretty good game for us."

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