Silver Chips Online

Blazers blow by Magruder in regular season finale

Varsity softball smashes Colonels 5-0

By Kate Harter, Online Weekend Editor and Miriam Ragen, Online National News Editor and Food Editor
May 9, 2007
MAY 7, BLAZER FIELD—

Blair softball clinched their division-leading 13th victory of the season last night against the Magruder Colonels 5-0. The Blazers' potent bats took a while to warm up, but once they came alive, the Blazers coasted to a solid win. The Blazers will look to carry the momentum from this victory with them into their first round playoff game against county foe Richard Montgomery.

Blair's defense started shaky, committing errors, and giving unnecessary run-scoring opportunities to the Colonels. The Blazers got themselves into trouble by overthrowing the cutoff man, not backing each other up, and dropping balls that should have been caught. Despite the unforced errors by the Blazers, Magruder was unable to capitalize, stranding runners in both the first and second innings.

Senior ace pitcher Annie Denenberg's strikeouts and calm demeanor on the mound kept Blair in the game, as did a spectacular play by senior catcher and co-captain Claire Lieberman, gunning down a Colonel runner trying to steal.

The sleeping giant that is the Blair offense awoke in the third, as the Blazers loaded the bases. With seniors Liz Scroggs, Shirla Williams and Allison Rubin on base, senior third baseman Juliet Garlow stepped to the plate. Magruder's pitcher threw three consecutive balls before fighting back with two strikes. Following a questionable call strikeout call to Garlow, Lieberman popped out to centerfield, leaving the scoreboard clear and coach Louis Hoelman pulling his hair out.

Blair kept the pressure on in the fourth when senior Anna Szapiro led off the inning with a triple to left. The Blazers finally capitalized on all their base runners when Denenberg singled, scoring Szapiro, for the first run of the game. Junior pinch runner Katie Scott stole second before a double from senior Dani McClay scored her too. That would be all the scoring for that inning as the next three hitters went down in order.

Two runs were all the Blazers needed to secure the victory, as the defense held Magruder scoreless. Blair added insurance runs on RBIs from Lieberman, Szapiro and Garlow in the fifth and the sixth innings.

Despite the victory, the team seemed a little unsatisfied with their performance. "We started out slow," Lieberman said. "But it's comforting to know that we picked each other up and had some big innings. Hopefully we will be able to do that in the playoffs."

Coach Louis Hoelman echoed Lieberman's thoughts, saying, "We got off to a slow start in the game, which was disappointing. We started out flat. The intensity from senior night wasn't there." Hoelman knows as well as anyone that the Blazers will need to play much better to make a deep playoff run. "We would get people on base and couldn't get hits. We can't afford to do that in playoffs…"

Blair, who has had excellent regular season records the last three years is still looking for its first two-playoff win season in that span. "We've had a lot of games to get us ready," Lieberman said. "It's something we've been focusing on all year and we are ready."

The girls' first playoff game will take place at home on Monday at 4 p.m.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/7534