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Little League Softball: Halfway gets historic win

June 18, 2012|By DANIEL KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com
  • Halfway's Trinity Schlotterbeck delivers a pitch during Game 1 of the Maryland District 1 Little League Softball championship series against Sharpsburg on Monday. Schlotterbeck struck out 11 as Halfway won, 6-4.
By Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

Halfway Little League’s first venture into Little League Softball postseason play was a successful one Monday night.

Trinity Schlotterbeck struck out 11 and hit the go-ahead RBI single in a four-run third inning, and Halfway defeated Sharpsburg 6-4 in the opener of the best-of-3 Maryland District 1 Little League Softball 11-12 championship series.

“I’m proud of the team,” said Halfway manager Chris Schlotterbeck, who also was a proud father as daughter Trinity retired 13 straight Sharpsburg hitters at one point, nine of them on strikeouts. “Our first-ever District 1 Tournament game, and to come out on top, I’m very happy. ... These girls have never played in front of a crowd like this before. This was like the Little League World Series to them. They were awestruck.”

Game 2 will be played tonight at 6 at Sharpsburg.

Sharpsburg took a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a two-out rally. Brooke Singleton walked and took second on a wild pitch before Taylor Neff reached on a fielding error. Singleton got caught in a rundown between second and third after the error, but Halfway botched the rundown and Singleton made it safely to third. She scored on Christina Baker’s infield bloop single behind the pitcher’s circle.

Baker was Sharpsburg’s last hitter to reach base until the sixth inning, while Halfway took control.

In the third, No. 9-hitter Haylee White led off with a walk, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Katelyn Yost’s RBI double to left to tie the game. Trinity Schlotterbeck followed with an RBI single to left for a 2-1 lead. Two Sharpsburg errors led to two more runs, with Jazmine Yost scoring on a double steal to end the rally.

Halfway padded its lead to 6-1 with two runs in the fifth. Katelyn Yost and Schlotterbeck led off with walks, Jazmine Yost drove in sister Katelyn with a groundout to second, and Schlotterbeck scored on Morgan Domer’s single to center, which was Domer’s second hit of the game.

Halfway finished with only four hits off Sharpsburg pitcher Brooke Singleton — who struck out eight — but capitalized on four walks and the two errors. Three of the four hitters who walked later scored.

“The top of the order came through with big hits when we needed it, and that’s why they’re at the top of the order,” Chris Schlotterbeck said.

Sharpsburg put a scare into Halfway in the sixth. Kayla Cline led off with a walk to snap Trinity Schlotterbeck’s string of 13 straight hitters retired, before Jessica Hutchinson hit a line drive to right that the right fielder misplayed, coming in too far as the ball sailed over her head for an RBI triple.

With one out, Taylor Neff’s single to left scored Hutchinson to make it 6-3. Baker then reached first on a fielder’s choice, with an error allowing Neff to go to third. That led to a Halfway conference in the circle.

“I just told them to calm down,” Chris Schlotterbeck said. “We only needed two outs, so let’s get the outs at first and throw strikes. They had to settle down and realize we still had control of the game.”

Shelbi Robinette’s groundout to first scored Neff to make it 6-4 but also left Halfway needing just one more out, which Trinity Schlotterbeck got with her final strikeout to cap a three-hitter.

“It took a little while for us to get going with the bats,” said Sharpsburg coach Mark Baker. “They were not used to (seeing) that many strikes. We’ll battle back tomorrow."

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