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April 26, 2010

Softball snatches close win over Quince Orchard

by Larisa Antonisse, Page Editor
BLAZER FIELD, April 23 —

The girls' varsity softball team (10-1) defeated Quince Orchard Friday afternoon in an unnecessarily close game. Though Blair was clearly the more skilled team, a lack of concentration in the early innings forced them to make a significant comeback to secure the win.

The Blazers started out slow, allowing the game to be tied at 1-1 after the first two innings. But the team's defense slumped in the third inning when the Cougars scored three more runs. Coach Louis Hoelman was disappointed in Blair's failure to accomplish the team's goal of starting out every game strong no matter the opponent. "Our concentration was bad. We came out flat and it took us falling behind to pick it up," he said.

Once they found themselves in the compromised position, the Blazers turned the game around. Sophomores Becca Arbacher and Samantha Schweickhardt and senior captains Lily Alexander and Chloe Sheridan each scored one run in the bottom of the fourth inning to give Blair a 5-4 lead. Though the Blazers allowed Quince Orchard to tie the game again in the top of the fifth, junior Emily Haislip hit a deep triple in the bottom of the inning which batted in junior Blake Morgan-Gamber to make the score 6-5, Blair. Neither team was able to gain runs in the next inning and a half, so the game ended with this score.

According to Haislip, the Blazers didn't expect this to be a difficult game, which she believes could have contributed to the sluggish start. "When we were behind we started playing well. We play well under pressure, but against teams that are worse than us we sometimes get lazy," she said.

Hoelman believes that offensive, as well as some defensive lapses in the game were to blame for Quince Orchard's initial lead. "Until we were down we did horribly offensively," he said. "But once we refocused and began to hit the ball with urgency we got some solid hits." Morgan-Gamber adds that offensively, Blair did a good job adjusting to a different pitching style. "Their pitching was not as fast as we're used to, but we found a way to string hits together," she said.

Even with the game's positive, overall outcome, Hoelman is determined that his team play more consistently in the future. "We just had a half hour discussion after the game trying to figure out why we're not preparing for every team the same way mentally, which is what we need to do," he said.

Softball plays its next home game against Poolesville on April 24 at 1:30 p.m.

Editor's note: Blake Morgan-Gamber is a staff writer for Silver Chips Online. Lily Alexander is Managing Features Editor for Silver Chips Print.



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