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Campers shut down Blazers

May 22, 2010|By DAN KAUFFMAN

CRESAPTOWN, Md. -- Sometimes, all you can do is tip your cap to the team that beat you.

Clear Spring's softball team played well in the Maryland Class 1A West final against Allegany at Carl Belt Field on Friday. But the Campers played even better, and the Blazers never could get the clutch hits they needed in a 5-1 loss to end the season.

On Thursday, Clear Spring (17-5) was on the winning end of a tough 1-0 semifinal battle against Williamsport.

On Friday, the Blazers went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position as Allegany pitcher Haley Stankan came up with all the pitches -- and one key quick-reflex defensive play -- she needed.

"We didn't hit as well as I thought we could. That's uncharacteristic of our team," Clear Spring coach Ron Baker said. "When you're playing a good team, you have to put more than one run on the board. ... There's no complaints as far as how the girls played tonight. We just didn't score the runs we needed."

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The Blazers scored their only run in the first inning. Heather Schlotterbeck doubled to the gap in right -- one of only a couple of hard-hit balls off Stankan, who pitched a seven-hitter with five strikeouts.

Schlotterbeck took third on Damara McDonough's groundout to third and scored on Haley Thorn's grounder to short.

Allegany answered by scoring two runs on three hits in each of its first two at-bats to take a 4-1 lead against McDonough.

Bailey Ellsworth was hit by a pitch with one out in the bottom of the first before Stephanie Dawson blooped a single to center. After a delayed double steal, Hilary Lyons grounded a two-run single up the middle.

In the second, Chelsea Oleksik ripped a one-out double to left and scored when Beth Szymanski hustled into a double, just beating the throw. Szymanski raced home on Ellsworth's single to right, sliding under the tag at the plate.

Clear Spring stranded runners at second and third twice. The most costly of the two came in the sixth, when the Blazers failed to score with the runners in scoring position and no outs. With one out, Stankan stopped Breanne Purdham's liner up the middle to save two runs.

"Allegany played a tough game and (Stankan) pitched a great game," Baker said. "You have to have good pitching, good hitting, good defense and a little luck. Tonight wasn't our night for luck."

Allegany got its final run in the sixth when Lyons led off with a bloop single and Alexa Sivic walked. The runners advanced on Taran Rosenberger's sacrifice bunt before Oleksik hit an infield bloop single that sailed just over McDonough and landed well in front of second base to score Lyons.

Schlotterbeck went 3-for-4 for the Blazers. McDonough allowed nine hits, one walk and one hit batter while striking out 11.

"I've been privileged to be part of a young group of girls who have played a high level of softball," Baker said. "It's been a pleasure watching them progress. We've come together as a team the last two weeks."

Allegany 5, Clear Spring 1
Clear Spring 100 000 0 -- 1 7 0
Allegany 220 001 x -- 5 9 2

McDonough and Leizear. Stankan and Sivic. WP--Stankan. LP--McDonough (6-3).

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