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Prep Softball: Leopards use patience to get lead, nerve to keep it to hold off North

April 25, 2012|By JACK HILL III | Staff Correspondent
  • North Hagerstown's Rebecca Amalfitano fields a grounder before Smithsburg's Kinsey Shifflett crosses her path en route to third base on Wednesday during the Leopards' 4-3 win over the Hubs.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Sometimes, it helps to take a second look.

Usually, the Smithsburg softball team takes the first pitch.

It’s a practice that’s been helpful to junior center fielder Sam Gladhill, who went 4-for-4 and scored two runs to help the Leopards build a 4-0 lead on North Hagerstown.

But then the Leopards were forced to hold off a late comeback by the Hubs on Wednesday to hold on for a 4-3 MVAL Antietam victory.

“We were watching where the first strike was,” Gladhill said. “That helped the hitters to be successful at times. I was struggling during the last couple of games. I was glad that I got four hits today.”

Kinsey Shifflett added two hits for Smithsburg (12-1, 8-1).

Cara Ferguson pitched a complete-game victory to improve her record to 12-1.

Smithsburg broke through first with a run in the top of the fourth. Gladhill led off with a single to left, stole second and scored on a throwing error on a Shifflett grounder.

“We were smart on the bases,” Gladhill said. “We knew when to advance when we had to. I was just keeping my head up and watching when they were throwing.”

The Leopards took a 3-0 lead in the sixth on a two-run double by Krystal Holl.

Smithsburg scored its final run in the seventh when Gladhill hit a one-out single, took second on Brooke Parks’ grounder and scored on a Shifflett single.

“We played very well, defensively,” Smithsburg coach Katy Barnhart said. “We got the hits when we needed them. I thought Sam Gladhill hit the ball real well today and Krystal Holl had a huge double for us.”

North (3-10, 3-7) got a three-run double by Emily Folk in the seventh to reduce the deficit to 4-3, but the Hubs could get no closer.

Pitcher Lauren Harbaugh, Emma Gist and Folk got two hits each for the Hubs.

“This was one of the better ballgames that my girls have played this year,” North coach Amanda Fleming said. “Lauren Harbaugh pitched a great game today. Brittanie Harris had a great defensive game for us in the outfield.”

Smithsburg 4, N. Hagerstown 3
Smithsburg    000    102    1    —    4    8    2
North    000    000    3    —    3    7    1
Ferguson and Shifflett. Harbaugh and Wissinger. WP — Ferguson (12-1). LP — Harbaugh.

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