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Smithsburg rallies late at South Hagerstown

April 28, 2009|By JACK HILL III

The Smithsburg Leopards were one out away from losing on the road Monday.

But that one out did not happen until after the No. 6 Leopards scored four unearned runs in the top of the seventh inning to come back from a 2-0 deficit in a 4-2 win over the South Hagerstown Rebels in an MVAL Antietam softball game.

It was the eighth straight win for Smithsburg (10-3), since it lost 1-0 at home to South Hagerstown on April 8.

South (4-10) has lost six of its last seven games.

Sophomore Katie Sprecher capped the four-run rally for the Leopards by smacking a two-run double down the left-field line to snap a 2-2 tie.

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"I'm just happy that I got a hit to keep the rally going," Sprecher said. "I'm glad that we kept battling and that we pulled through. I think we're doing really well. We finally got our bats going and our defense working."

Stevey Markovich led off the top of the seventh for Smithsburg with a single to center. Emily Bolton reached on a throwing error. One out later, Shayla Murray singled to center to load the bases. Danielle Beaver reached on a fielder's choice, in which Markovich was out at the plate for the second out.

After that, Bethany Garnand reached on a two-base throwing error that enabled Bolton and Murray to come home to even the score. Sprecher then hit her two-run double to give the Leopards the lead.

"I'm very happy that we all came alive in the last inning," Sprecher said. "When Stevey Markovich got that leadoff hit in the last inning, that fired up everybody and that was the key."

Leopards pitcher Bethany Garnand then closed the door on the Rebels by striking out the side in order in the bottom of the seventh.

"Bethany Garnand is doing very well," said Sprecher, who is the catcher. "She got big strikeouts when we needed them. I'm working on moving the ball around in the strike zone. She always seems to hit the right spots."

Garnand struck out 10 to reach double figures in strikeouts for the ninth time in 13 games this season. Garnand gave up only two runs, two walks and four hits in seven innings to raise her pitching record to 10-3.

Markovich and Murray had two hits each for the Leopards.

Rebels pitcher Chelsea Showe allowed no earned runs and no walks in seven innings.

The Rebels got single runs in the first and third. Each time, Destanie Agee scored a run on an RBI single by Desiree Giffin.

"We didn't give up on each other and that was the key," Smithsburg coach Brian Getz said. "Even though we were down early, we made some adjustments. Bethany Garnand did well keeping her composure and battling back from adversity."

"We gave it away," South coach Angie McQuillen said.

Smithsburg 4, South Hagerstown 2
Smithsburg 000 000 4 -- 4 6 1
South 101 000 0 -- 2 4 6

Garnand and Sprecher. Ch. Showe and Co. Showe. WP -- Garnand (10-3). LP -- Ch. Showe (4-10).

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