Sunday, June 03, 2001

Hamilton throws away softball title


Boardman wins crown 4-1

By Malcolm C. Knox
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ASHLAND, Ohio — If Hamilton coach Steve Heckman could erase the second inning from Saturday's Division I softball state championship game, his Big Blue would have been in a better position to win the title.

        Opponent Youngstown Boardman scored three runs on four Hamilton errors in the inning, a deficit from which the Big Blue never recovered. Last year's state runner-up, Boardman won the game 4-1.

        “After that inning, we played great,” Heckman said. “We had a game plan. ... Sometimes it just didn't work.”

        The game began around 2 p.m. after a four-hour rain delay. The was another 40-minute delay in the fifth inning.

        In the first inning, the Spar tans' leadoff hitter, junior shortstop Mary McCabe, got to first on a bunt, stole second and scored on junior center fielder Laura Amero's double. Then Amero stole third.

        Hamilton sophomore pitcher Katie Halcomb struck out the next three batters, but Boardman already had set the tone. “We wanted to put pressure on them,” Boardman coach Bill Amero said. “We put down a couple of bunts, a couple of steals. It might have rattled them a little.”

        McCabe was just doing her job, she said.

        “Being the first batter, your job is to get on and to kind of set the pace for the game,” she said. “I don't care how I got on. I knew a little bit about the catcher. I wanted to test her a little bit.”

        If they set the pace in the first inning, the Spartans finished the race in the second. Freshman second baseman Jaclyn Corroto reached first on a throwing error. Corroto stole second, and sophomore left fielder Jennifer Pancake reached first when junior third baseman Brandi Jones fielded her ground ball and held it to keep Corroto at second.

        The next batter, designated hitter Krysta Sylvester, reached first on a throwing error to first, and Corroto sprinted home. Pancake and Sylvester scored when the ball was thrown out of play in an effort to catch Pancake at third. The next batter was caught trying to steal second after getting to first on another error, the fourth of the inning. The next two Boardman hitters grounded out.

        “The second inning, we kinda broke down on a few plays,” Heckman said. “I thought we were solid except for that one inning. They did what we did all tournament.”

        Boardman ....... 130  000  0—4  6  0

        Hamilton ....... 000  000  1—1  3  5

        WP—Bartholomew (21-2). LP—Halcomb (22-7). Hitting Leaders: Bod—Amero 2H, RBI; Rango 2H. Ham—Ard 2H, RBI; Jones 2B. Records: Bod 30-3, Ham 25-9.
       

        Enquirer staffer Lyndsay Sutton contributed.
       

       



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