Advertisement

Junior Softball: Short-handed Halfway finds way to strong-arm S. Maryland

July 24, 2013|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • Halfway's Emily Talbert delivers a pitch against South Maryland on Wednesday during the Maryland State Junior Softball tournament. Halfway advanced to the finals with a 6-3 win.
By Ric Dugan / Staff Photographer

SHARPSBURG — Playing the losers’ bracket final without five players of the 12 players on its original roster, Halfway Little League reconstructed its team in time to produce a 6-3 victory over South Maryland in the Maryland State Junior Softball losers’ bracket final.

With five All-Stars playing elsewhere, Halfway needed to find at least two replacements just to play.

After District 1 director Larry Hammond secured the necessary paperwork and approval from Little League headquarters, Halfway had a nine-player roster for the game.

“Meagan Miles and Hannah Moats did a fantastic job for us tonight, especially on defense,” said Halfway manager Mike Renn.

The nine-man gang — call ‘em “the misfits” — got together and played relaxed softball, the kind Renn hopes his team plays tonight against Perryville in the championship round opener at 7.

“We want to come out and play (Thursday) like we did tonight, relaxed and focused,” Renn said.

It started in the circle for Halfway where pitchers Emily Talbert and Courtney McGhee combined on a no-hit, 10-strikeout performance.

Talbert went the first four innings with eight Ks before McGhee finished the last three innings, running into a speedbump in the sixth inning when South Maryland scored its three runs on two walks, a hit batter, an error and two infield groundouts.

Otherwise it was Halfway all the way, starting with a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

McGhee reached on an error — the first of six committed by South Maryland — to lead off. She moved up to second on a wild pitch, to third on a ground out and scored on Madi Renn’s groundout.

It became 3-0 in the third when Halfway finally got its first hits in a big way.

McGhee laced a one-out double and Jazmine Yost followed with a run-scoring double, but was out trying to stretch it into a triple. Renn then reached when her fly ball was dropped in center field before scoring on a double by Talbert.

“I was a little worried about our hitting coming into the game,” Mike Renn said. “But we strung those doubles together to get the advantage.”

Halfway added three runs in the fifth with McGhee smacking another double and scoring on an outfield error. Renn reached base and another error allowed her to score and the same held true for Alexis Hubbard.

Halfway’s hit production for the game was the four doubles.

Talbert was never in trouble during her start despite four walks and got stronger, retiring the final five batters she faced on strikeouts. South Maryland did not get a ball out of the infield against Talbert.

“(Emily) pitched under control, got on top of her pitches and hit her spots,” Mike Renn said. “Other than her temporary problem in the sixth, McGhee really kept her composure and finished strong.”

Halfway will need to beat Perryville tonight and Friday to claim the state championship. The two teams met on Sunday, with Perryville collecting a 5-4 victory.

Advertisement
The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|