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Prep Softball: Leopards avoid upset against Knights

April 17, 2012|By JACK HILL III | Staff Correspondent

SMITHSBURG — Middletown’s softball team did its best on Tuesday to upset Smithsburg.

The Leopards avoided the trap by scoring two runs in the ninth inning to pull out a 4-3 victory over the Knights.

Middletown (2-8) took a 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth on an error, but Smithsburg (10-1) answered in the bottom half. Shayla Murray started the inning on second base via the international tiebreaker rule in extra innings, and Karah Knight was hit by a pitch. Both runners moved up one base on a wild pitch, before Sam Gladhill hit the game-winning two-run single to left.

“I’m proud of the team for rallying together and getting the win,” Smithsburg coach Katy Barnhart said. “I have to give Middletown a lot of credit. They played very well. We struggled a little bit early. But when it counted, we were able to come through with the big hit.”

Smithsburg junior Cara Ferguson threw 134 pitches in going the distance. She struck out seven and allowed just two earned runs on five hits and two walks.

“I just tried to keep (throwing) a variety of pitches,” Ferguson said. “I moved around the plate and I just tried to keep them on their toes. ... Our offense pulled through when it needed to. I think that everybody just got fired up when we were batting in the bottom of the ninth inning. We knew that we had to hit the ball then.”

“I thought she did a great job,” Barnhart said. “She was able to move the ball around. She played very well defensively as well.”

The Leopards were one out away from winning the game when the Knights tied the score at 1 in the top of the seventh on a throwing error.

Middletown took a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth on an RBI single to right by Kaela Pratt.

Smithsburg tied the game in the bottom half when Ferguson came home on a double to left by senior Krystal Holl, who finished with three hits.

The Leopards scored their first run in the bottom of the second when Ferguson scored on a single to left by Holl.

Middletown senior Samantha Carter allowed three earned runs and no walks in eight innings.

“I am extremely pleased that we took a team the caliber of Smithsburg nine innings,” Middletown coach Charlie Toms said. “It was a very good game. It was well-played by both teams. They manufactured a few runs when they needed to. We just came up one run short.”

Middletown    000    000    111    —    3    5    4
Smithsburg    010    000    012    —    4    10    4
Carter and Pratt. Ferguson and Shifflett. WP — Ferguson (10-1). LP — Carter.

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