Smithsburg unleashes potent offense vs. Hubs

April 06, 2011|By DAN KAUFFMAN |

SMITHSBURG — Two of Washington County’s most feared softball lineups squared off in a battle for the early MVAL Antietam lead Wednesday evening.

Smithsburg’s lineup outslugged North Hagerstown’s, as the Leopards scored 13 runs on 14 hits in the first three innings to defeat the Hubs, 13-7.

Smithsburg (5-1, 3-0) is averaging 12.2 runs per game this season.

“We have a very aggressive mindset at the plate right now,” Leopards coach Katy Barnhart said. “We’re thinking about counts, and when we have a hitter’s count, they’re focusing on a pitch and driving the ball.”

The Leopards scored four runs on five hits in the first inning and three runs on three hits in the second for a 7-0 lead.

North (2-3, 2-1) cut the deficit to 7-4 as seven straight batters had hits in the top of the third, but Smithsburg answered with six runs on six hits in the bottom half to pull away to a 13-4 advantage.

“I asked my catcher (Allysen Breeden) if those pitches were over the middle, and she said no,” Hubs coach Amanda Fleming said. “They were throwing the rise and the drop, working in and out, and they were hitting whatever was thrown.”

Sophomore Brooke Parks led Smithsburg’s onslaught with a 4-for-4 day, drilling two doubles and driving in four runs.

“I was just staying patient and looking for a pitch I could drive — not to hit it over the fence, just to put the ball in play and get the runners in,” Parks said. “It takes a lot of pressure off just knowing our whole offense is solid all the way through.”

Sophomore Cara Ferguson went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, launching a pair of deep drives to center field that went for triples — hits that easily would have been home runs on a field with an outfield fence all the way around. She also earned the win in the circle, striking out six.

“She’s all the way around an excellent player,” Barnhart said. “She’s a good pitcher, and her pitch selection at the plate is extremely good. Her on-base percentage is very high.”

Shayla Murray and Jessica Hartman each finished with two hits, including a double, and Karah Knight also had two hits for Smithsburg. Eight of the Leopards’ nine starters had at least one hit.

Breeden went 3-for-4 and crushed two triples for North.

“She just has a solid, level swing every time, so when she makes contact, it’s a solid hit,” Fleming said. “We didn’t have a bad offensive day today. I just give credit where credit’s due (to Smithsburg).”

Brittanie Harris added two hits for the Hubs.

Smithsburg 13, N. Hagerstown 7
North    004    010    2    —    7    10    3
Smithsburg    436    000    x    —    13    16    2
Harbaugh, Thomas (2) and Breeden. Ferguson and Shifflett. WP — Ferguson. LP — Harbaugh.

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