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May 11, 2005

For final course of season, Blair orders a Rubin

by Michael Bushnell, Page Editor
May 10, BLAZER FIELD-

The Blair Blazers wrapped up the 2005 regular season tonight with their first walk-off win of the year. In one of the best seasons in Blair softball history, the Blazers beat the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons in their lowest scoring game of the year, 1-0, thanks to two of their trademark skills- stealing bases and bunting.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh and a 0-0 score in the game, Blair (15-3) leadoff hitter Sarah Rumbaugh got to flex her expertise, the bunt. Allison Rubin was standing on third, having gotten there thanks to a single and two stolen bases. With one strike against her, Rumbaugh laid down a perfect bunt along the first base line, getting it to die in the dirt between first base and home plate.

Rubin's speed from third and the excellent bunt made it impossible for any Baron fielder to get the ball in time to retire either runner, and the game ended, 1-0.

Blair starting pitcher Annie Denenberg made sure that when that run scored, it would be enough for the team to win. She pitched seven strong innings, allowing just two hits while striking out six batters.

After the game, when bench coach Brooke Franceschini told her that she pitched a two-hitter, Denenberg was surprised, exclaiming, "two hits? Really? Wow." She retired the Barons in order in the second, third, fifth and sixth innings. Total, she only pitched to three batters over the minimum for seven innings.

The excellent Blair defense helped compliment Denenberg on the 15 balls that B-CC put into play, committing no errors. Blair manager Louis Hoelman praised the D after the game. "The defense was great. [It] helped us win," he said.

Hoelman, who was not as pleased with his team when they gave up six runs on Monday to Wheaton, said he enjoyed the hard-fought win against a tough B-CC opponent. "That was a great softball game," he said, "Blair softball at its finest. I like low pitched games with tight defense, and we looked solid."

Blair only had five hits off of Adams, and their best scoring chance before the seventh came off a three-base error in the third inning. Shante Henderson hit a lazy fly ball to centerfielder Angie Baker, who had the ball pop out of her glove. Henderson reached third on the play, but was stranded there. The five hits were spread out among five Blazers.

Tonight's game was brisk, lasting just over 80 minutes. Denenberg worked fast on the mound, and Hoelman was satisfied that this was the way that Blair would be entering the playoffs. "It's a great way to enter the playoffs," he said.

That said, the Blazers still got an unlucky draw when the playoff lottery gave Blair a first round matchup against the Richard Montgomery Rockets. Instead of facing a team like Einstein or Wheaton, who Blair beat handily this year, the Blazers will face the only team to beat Blair at home in 2005, winning 6-3 in eight innings back in April. The game is at 4 p.m. on Friday.

After the game, before he found out who their playoff opponent would be, the one team Hoelman said he had hoped not to face was RM. "It's a one-in-ten chance we'll play them, but that would be the toughest team we could play," he said.

Still, he said that whomever Blair would face, they would be ready for them. "I think we could beat any team (in the single elimination tournament), or we could lose to any team. We just got to play Blair softball, and well be fine."







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  • Elizabeth (View Email) on May 11, 2005 at 3:20 PM
    You've done a good job this season. However,you wrote: "their unlucky playoff draw will hurt them."

    I think you meant to say their unlucky playoof draw could hurt them. I believe they will be fine. I know the girls are really jazzed and ready to take on RM. Go Blazer Softball.
  • go blazers on May 11, 2005 at 6:20 PM
    yea annie!
  • John Willmott (View Email) on May 12, 2005 at 12:22 AM
    Here's undeniable proof that the current MPSSAA playoff system is garbage. Blair should be facing the 14th best team, not the 5th (RM's ranking in the 4A East). RM shouldn't have to play one of the best teams in the county on the road in the first round. Now, one of the top 5 county teams is guaranteed to be gone by the second round. Here's hoping that the girls can overcome their lousy draw.
  • player on May 12, 2005 at 7:44 AM
    the RM game is at 5:15 and we will crush them!
  • emily OB on May 12, 2005 at 9:44 PM
    "That said, the Blazers still got an unlucky draw when the playoff lottery gave Blair a first round matchup against the Richard Montgomery Rockets."

    No freaking way. RM got the unlucky draw, and we will triumph. It's finally our turn.
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