Leopards' rally puts party on hold for North seniors

April 29, 2011|By BRETT NIEVES | Staff Correspondent
  • North Hagertown's Ali Forrest (11) slides across home plate while Smithsburg catcher Kinsey Shifflett leaps to reach the ball during the Leopards' 3-2 victory.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — North Hagerstown celebrated Senior Day on Friday.

Smithsburg spoiled the celebration.

Karah Knight ripped a two-run double to highlight a three-run fifth inning to lift the Leopards to a 3-2 victory and put Smithsburg in control of the MVAL Antietam title chase.

“North played well today,” Smithsburg coach Katy Barnhart said. “But we were able to make some big plays. Knight’s double was huge for us.”

Smithsburg (12-2, 10-1) trailed 1-0 heading into the fifth inning before Knight’s clutch double gave it the lead. Pitcher Cara Ferguson followed by driving in what became the deciding run with an RBI double.

“We weren’t hitting well in the beginning,” Knight said. “But I got one I liked and ripped it and we came back.”

The Leopards are now in the driver’s seat for the Antietam title. Smithsburg has beaten North and Catoctin — its two closest competitors — each twice this season to put a stranglehold on the conference lead.

Smithsburg turned to its defense to back a strong peformance by Ferguson. Ferguson pitched a complete game, allowing only two runs (one earned) on six hits, while fanning eight and walking three.

North pitcher Lauren Harbaugh also went the distance, allowing three runs on six hits with five walks and six strikeouts.

“I expected more offense out of both teams, but the pitching made every hit count,” said North coach Amanda Fleming.

North (7-6, 6-4) attempted to come back in the sixth inning on Harbaugh’s RBI triple. Harbaugh represented the tying run but was stranded at third when Ferguson struck out Ali Forrest.

Smithsburg 3, North Hagerstown 2
Smithsburg    000    030    0    —    3    6    4
North    001    001    0    —    2    6    2
Ferguson and Shifflett. Harbaugh and Breeden. WP — Ferguson (11-2). LP — Harbaugh (3-4).

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