SMITHSBURG — Leadoff batter Shayla Murray got Smithsburg’s offense going Friday, sparking the Leopards to an 8-1 MVAL Antietam softball victory over visiting North Hagerstown.
The senior shortstop reached base all four times with three hits and a walk, and she scored two runs as Smithsburg improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the conference.
“I hit pretty well today,” Murray said. “I was just patient at the plate.”
“That is important for us for Shayla Murray to reach base,” Smithsburg coach Katy Barnhart said. “She has a lot of speed and she is an excellent baserunner. When she reaches base, it helps to get the team going.”
Smithsburg pitcher Cara Ferguson allowed one run and had eight strikeouts in seven innings to get the complete-game win and raise her pitching record to 5-0.
“Cara Ferguson did a good job of pitching and hit her spots,” Barnhart said. “She worked the count very well in her favor. We played well defensively behind her.”
The Leopards did not make any errors.
Sam Gladhill had two hits and four RBIs for Smithsburg, while Kinsey Shifflett added two hits, including a two-run homer, in the victory.
Laken Feeser had three hits and Danielle Wissinger added two hits for North (2-3, 2-2), while Hubs relief pitcher Lauren Harbaugh had five strikeouts in two scoreless innings of work.
Smithsburg took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Murray led off with a double to left and scored on a single to center by Gladhill. After Brooke Parks reached on a forceout at second, Shifflett clubbed a two-run homer to center.
“We hit the ball pretty well today,” Barnhart said. “We always try to win the first inning. We did a good job of getting our bats going early today.”
The Hubs reduced the deficit to 3-1 in the top of the third on an RBI single to center by Wissinger.
The Leopards got a run in the bottom of the third when Karah Knight scored on a single to center by Parks.
Smithsburg came through with four runs in the fourth to build its lead to 8-1. The last three runs came home on a bases-loaded triple to center by Gladhill.
“We played a good team today and we hung in there until the last couple of innings,” North coach Amanda Fleming said. “When you play Smithsburg, you know that they are going to hit the ball. Today, we just couldn’t hit with them.”
Smithsburg 8, North Hagerstown 1
North 001 000 0 — 1 8 2
Smithsburg 301 400 x — 8 9 0
Thomas, Harbaugh (5) and Wissinger. Ferguson and Shifflett. WP — Ferguson (5-0). LP — Thomas. HR—S: Shifflett (first, one on).