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Notebook: Cold weather can't cool Willard's bat

March 31, 2011

Baseball

Several players are off to flying starts at the plate, a remarkable feat given the wintry weather early this season.

Smithsburg senior Ryne Willard leads the way, batting .818 (9-for-11) in his first three games. He has slugged two home runs and two doubles, walked twice, driven in 13 runs and scored 11. His on-base percentage is .846 and his slugging percentage is 1.545.

Jefferson has rolled through its first six opponents, led by the arm and bat of Tanner Everton.

Everton is 3-0 on the mound, and 9-for-14 at the plate (.643) with two home runs and 12 RBIs. Add in his eight walks, and his on-base percentage is .773.

Martinsburg, unbeaten at 7-0, has a familiar leader for a third year in Zach Woolcock.

The Bulldogs senior is 2-0 on the mound and is batting .565 with four home runs and 17 RBIs. He has four doubles, scored eight runs and has accumulated 29 total bases.

Big makeup

The recent rainouts could end up making for an interesting finish in the MVAL Antietam.

On Wednesday, Smithsburg and South Hagerstown were snuffed out of action. That game has been rescheduled for April 25 at noon. By that time, there could be plenty riding on the final score.

Wednesday’s postponement of the Brunswick-North Hagerstown game has been rescheduled for May 6.

Clear Spring and Catoctin got their game started on Wednesday, but was suspended in the second inning with Catoctin ahead 7-1.

North Hagerstown also has a 6-6, nine-inning tie against Urbana under its belt. It could be continued later this season, although the Hubs would make up any additional Antietam postponements first.



Softball

Through the first two weeks of the season, it appears the move of the pitching rubber back from 40 to 43 feet is having the predicted effect: More runs.

Last year, area teams played 44 games on or before March 30, and 516 runs were scored in those games — an average of 11.7 per game.

In 47 games played through March 30 this year, 607 runs have been scored — 12.9 per game.

* Clear Spring has not gotten off to the kind of start it wanted in the MVAL Antietam.

On Monday, the Blazers led North Hagerstown 7-2 in the fifth inning before the Hubs rallied — with help from several Clear Spring errors — for an 8-7 victory.

Then on Wednesday, the Blazers traveled to Catoctin and fell behind 9-0 before the weather forced a suspension in the fourth inning. The game will be completed when the Cougars travel to Clear Spring on April 18.

Clear Spring, North and Catoctin are expected to contend for the conference title, along with Smithsburg. The Leopards will travel to Boonsboro — the current conference leader at 2-0 — for a game today.

The Warriors have won both their home games this season in walk-off fashion.



Track & Field

North Hagerstown’s Raven Jackson led the Tri-State area in the girls long jump (17 feet, 7 inches) and triple jump (36-8 1/2) as a sophomore last year.

It took only one meet this spring for Jackson to surpass her mark in the long jump, as the Hubs junior set a meet record at Thomas Johnson’s Patriot Invitational last Saturday with her winning jump of 17-10 1/4. Jackson did not compete in the triple jump.

South Hagerstown senior Jaid Sandeen also set a Patriot Invitational record in the girls pole vault at 9-9 (a personal best by 1 inch).

* Siblings Ryun and Natalie Holder, of Chambersburg, swept the 800-meter titles at the Tim Cook Invitational on their home track last weekend. Ryun, a junior, won the boys race in 1:59.55, while Natalie, a freshman, was the girls champ in 2:29.84.

Those apples didn’t fall far from their tree.

Their father, Greg Holder, a 1976 Williamsport graduate, was the Maryland Class B (now 2A) state champ in the 1-mile run and the state runner-up in cross country as a senior.

* Twenty-four schools are set to compete Saturday at the 12th Dwight Scott “Battlefield Blast” Invitational at Boonsboro.

The meet will feature several showdowns, perhaps none more intriguing than Boonsboro sophomore Abby Duncan vs. Martinsburg junior Jasmyn Hosby in the 100 and 200 dashes.

Both girls are defending state champs in both events — Duncan in Maryland Class 1A and Hosby in West Virginia Class AAA.



Tennis

North Hagerstown’s boys (2-1, 1-0) claimed a key early-season MVAL Antietam victory on Monday, beating Clear Spring 3-2.

Hubs freshman Teddy Schoeck (3-0) battled from a set down for a 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over Zac O’Neal (3-1) in a marquee matchup at No. 1 singles. Eric Harrison won at No. 2 singles, and Drew Brady and Oscar Shao won at No. 2 doubles.

Clear Spring (3-1, 1-1) has been led by the No. 1 doubles team of Tyler Brown and Gavin Myers, who are 4-0.

* St. Maria Goretti’s boys are an impressve 6-1, with wins over Jefferson, Martinsburg, Hedgesville and Musselman. Only a powerhouse Washington team has gotten the best of the Gaels.

* Clear Spring’s girls (4-0, 2-0) beat North Hagerstown 3-2 to take early control of the MVAL Antietam race.

Megan Crowl (4-0) and Miranda Kearney (4-0) each won easily in singles, and Ashlyn Long and Bethani Jenkins (4-0) took care of business at No. 1 doubles. With those four players at the top of the lineup, the Blazers will be hard to beat.

* St. Maria Goretti junior Laura Winalski has been very sharp to start the season. Winalski is 5-0 in singles matches (4-0 at No. 2, 1-0 at No. 3) and 5-0 in doubles matches (3-0 with Ashley Robinson at No. 1, and 1-0 with both Annie Cochran and Monica Devinagracia at No. 2).

— Assistant sports editor Andrew Mason and staff writers Dan Kauffman and Tim Koelble contributed to this notebook.

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