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April 16, 2007

Blair softball soundly beats Wootton

by Miriam Ragen, Online National News Editor and Food Editor
April 13, BLAZER FIELD---

Blair's softball team started the game with intensity, immediately jumping to an 8-0 lead over the previously undefeated Wootton Patriots. Despite a lack of focus on defense and an inability to adjust to a new, much slower pitcher Blair was able to end the game with the mercy rule after six innings by being up by over 10 runs.

The Blazers who have only lost one game this season made an extremely aggressive start. Senior co-captain pitcher Annie Denenberg struck out the first three batters of the game. Blair's offense rode the momentum into the bottom of the first inning. Senior co-captain Allison Rubin led off with a double and then stole third. Rubin attempted to steal home but was trapped in a pickle eventually getting tagged out inches from home base.

The Blazers heated up with consecutively solid at-bats. Senior co-captain Michelle Linford hit a triple to score senior co-captain Claire Lieberman followed by a single to center by senior co-captain Anna Szapiro scoring Linford. Denenberg was walked and junior Katie Scott took her place on first. Senior Liz Scroggs hit a single to center scoring Szapiro and Scott. Seniors Dani McClay and Diane Chase each were walked and Scroggs stole home to secure the fifth run of the game. Rubin then got to first on a fielding error that allowed both McClay and Chase to score. Lieberman hit a double to center to score Rubin and senior Juliet Garlow who reached first on a walk. Down by eight runs, Wootton puts in a new pitcher. Linford immediately popped out to end the inning.

Coach Louis Hoelman was happy with the team's opening. "We got off to a really good start, scored eight in the first inning. We had nice line drives and quality at bats. After our last game at Damascus that what we were looking to do. But then they changed pitchers. She was much slower and we did not make an adjustment," Hoelman commented.

The next few innings passed with minimal excitement but Blair had some fielding errors that allowed Wootton to get on the scoreboard. In the second inning a runner scored on a past ball at the plate. In the fifth inning another runner scored on a sloppy field play.

After a very forceful beginning Blair's offense struggled. The players were unable to get the same caliber hits off that they had done earlier in the game. A single by Scroggs that scored Szapiro was the only run the Blazers managed until the sixth inning.

The sixth inning brought the game to a close. Denenberg struck out two batters and a play to first by Linford retired the Patriots for the game. During the bottom of the inning, Blair seemed shaky as Szapiro and Denenberg became the first two outs. In what appeared to be an explosion, Blair managed to pull off another two out rally. An error by the pitcher allowed Scroggs to reach first who then stole second. McClay was then walked and Chase singled, loading the bases. Rubin came to the plate and on the third pitch hit a powerful ball to the center field fence. All three players on base scored, giving Blair enough runs to secure the mercy rule. Just as Rubin rounded third base the catcher received the ball from the outfield and prepared to tag Rubin. Rubin flattened the catcher, causing her to drop the ball and allow Rubin to score the thirteenth run of the game.

Despite an impressive offensive showing during the first and sixth innings, Hoelman and Lieberman believe that this was not one of the team's best performances. "We should be making every play," said Lieberman. "This isn't a hard opponent. We lost focus in the long innings and we need to expect the ball to come to us."

Blair's next game is Saturday, April 14 at 1 p.m. at home against Northwood.



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  • matilda plews (View Email) on April 16, 2007 at 1:55 PM
    "Blair's next game is Saturday, April 14 at i:00 at home against Northwood."

    Blair 14, Northwood 0!
  • matilda plews (View Email) on April 24, 2007 at 4:35 PM
    Blair beat WJ 24-0 last night (April 23)...

    .... three touchdowns in the first inning and a field goal in the second.
  • alumni on May 2, 2007 at 10:38 AM
    can you update the record on the main sports page? i know theyve played at least 3 games
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