Warriors upset Leopards

April 20, 2011|By WILL ROBINSON | Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG — The Boonsboro High School softball team has needed something to cheer about.

After a 3-1 start to the season, the Warriors were 1-5 in their last six.

All of that changed Wednesday, as Boonsboro’s bats delivered in the clutch to lead the Warriors to a 5-3 win over Smithsburg, which was previously unbeaten in the MVAL Antietam.

Locked in a 3-3 tie in the top of the seventh inning, leadoff batter Kayla Payne reached first on a throwing error and Amber Welch bunted her over to second. Tristan Hartle then sent a 1-0 offering from Cara Ferguson deep to right field for an RBI triple. After Haley Payne walked, Nikki Reeder slapped a single to score Hartle.

Smithsburg still had the bottom of the seventh to tie it back up, but Boonsboro’s defense clamped down. Karah Knight walked to lead off the frame and Sam Gladhill sent a Haley Payne pitch to center field, but Hartle ranged over to snag it, then doubled up Knight at first.

“This win was incredible. We really, really needed this,” said Boonsboro coach Traci Humphreys. “Those little base hits are all you need. We just needed to play the short game.”

Boonsboro (5-6, 4-4) drew first blood in the first inning when Haley Payne doubled to score Hartle, who singled and reached second on an error.

The Leopards (8-2, 5-1) came right back with two runs in the bottom of the inning when passed balls allowed both Knight and Gladhill to score.

“We’ve struggled in the first few innings all season, but the girls stepped up tonight,” Humphreys said.

The Warriors regained the lead in the top of the fourth. Reeder singled and advanced to second on Amber Myers’ sacrifice bunt. Cate Heaney singled to move Reeder over to third, then stole second to get into scoring position. Natalie Tobery brought them both home with a two-run single.

Smithsburg tied the game at 3 in the bottom of the fourth when Knight brought Danielle Beaver home on an RBI double.

“Cara pitched a nice game, but we didn’t make adjustments on defense and we didn’t hit,” said Smithsburg coach Katy Barnhart.

Despite the loss, Smithsburg can take solace in the fact that they still lead the MVAL Antietam.

“Yeah, we still lead the conference, but we need to refocus a little bit,” Barnhart said. “We’ll come back Monday (against South Hagerstown) and play hard and smart.”

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