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Prep Softball: Leopards band together to strike up offense, march past `Cats

March 27, 2012|By DAN KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com
  • Smithsburg's Cara Ferguson delivers a pitch on Monday during the fourth inning of the Leopards' 15-0 victory over Williamsport.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

WILLIAMSPORT — The beat goes on for Smithsburg’s softball team.

So does the beatdowns.

The Leopards’ powerful offense unloaded 12 hits against Williamsport on Monday, and took advantage of seven Wildcats errors in a five-inning 15-0 shutout in the MVAL Antietam.

Smithsburg has scored 34 runs so far this season — including 15 in each of the last two games — while surrendering only three and posting two shutouts.

“We just want to stay consistent, keep getting better, make sure we’re mentally tough and just keep hitting,” Leopards coach Katy Barnhart said.

Pitcher Ariah Giles worked a quick 1-2-3 first inning on a flyout and two groundouts for Williamsport (1-2, 1-1), but Smithsburg got its bats going in the second while the Wildcats’ gloves went missing.

The Leopards (3-0, 1-0) hit three singles — including an RBI knock by Karah Knight — and took advantage of two walks and an error to take a 4-0 lead. Shayla Murray drove in a run on a sacrifice fly.

Smithsburg doubled its lead on the third. After Brooke Parks reached base on a dropped fly ball, Kinsey Shifflett smoked a line-drive home run to left center through the powerful wind for a 6-0 lead. Cara Ferguson reached base on an infield single, and two more Wildcats errors led to two more Leopards runs.

“We’re young and I just told them they’re going to make mistakes,” Williamsport coach Jennie Finafrock said. “I don’t expect to make multiple mistakes or ones that lead to others. ... Ariah wasn’t on today, nor was her defense. When you’re not on, you’re not going to win.”

A single, two walks and an error led to another Smithsburg run for a 9-0 lead after four innings.

The Leopards finished things off with a six-run fifth on six hits. Sam Gladhill, Parks and Murray hit RBI singles and Kayla Huntzberry added an RBI double.

The offense overshadowed Ferguson’s one-hitter. Using her entire arsenal of five pitches, she struck out the side in the first inning and faced four hitters over the minimum in five innings, walking two and striking out five.

She’s perfected more pitches in the offseason, has a lot more command and is a lot more versatile,” Barnhart said. “She’s a really good pitcher for us, and she’s just going to keep getting better.”

Parks had three hits and Shifflett and Knight each added two hits for the Leopards.

Smithsburg 15, Williamsport 0
Smithsburg    044    16    —    15    12    1
Williamsport    000    00    —    0    1    7
Ferguson and Shifflett. Giles and Stotler. WP — Ferguson. LP — Giles. HR — S: Shifflett (3rd, two on).

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