Key gets 15-10 lesson from North Hagerstown Softball


The Francis Scott Key softball team was itching to get to the plate after putting up 26 runs in a win Wednesday at


The only problem was visiting North Hagerstown had first cracks at it yesterday, and it made the most of it, scoring eight first-inning runs to lead it to a 15-10 win in a Monocacy Valley Athletic League game in Uniontown.

North Hagerstown catcher Kathy Zonis led off with a homer over the head of Key center fielder Damien Overholser. Zonis also would score the eighth run of the inning as the Hubs pounded out four hits and took advantage of three walks by pitcher Amber Smith and two Key errors.

"I told the kids before the game that this is not Middletown," said Key coach Joe Linthicum.

"We've had problems with the big inning in every game except the Middletown game and it hurt us again. The girls just didn't come out with the kind of intensity we need in that first inning."

Linthicum was pleased with the way his Eagles fought back.

Key catcher Shelley Smith matched Zonis' effort with a leadoff homer of her own in the Eagles' half of the first.

Julie LeBrun followed with a single, took second after a wild pitchand scored the Eagles' second run on an Erin Murphey single. Murphey later would score to get Key within 8-3 after one.

Key (3-3) added two more in the second to make it 8-5. With two outs and runners on first and second, Overholser hit a grounder in the hole, which second baseman Rachel Grantham got to, but her late throw was over the head of first baseman Mary Louk and it brought home two.

The two teams exchanged runs in the fourth -- Key's coming by way of an Overholser homer -- before North Hagerstown (5-1) made it 11-6 in the fifth. That's when Key made its run.

The bottom three of the order all got on to load the bases for Shelley Smith. North Hagerstown pitcher Julie Frazee threw a pitch that got by Zonis, but she recovered in time to get Michelle Black, who was running from third. It was the first out of the inning and turned out to be a big play as the Eagles scored four to trail 11-10. But they could have had more.

Tina Smith drove in two with a single and both LeBrun and Murphey also had run-scoring singles in the inning.

"I was pleased with the way the kids came back," Linthicum said.

"They could have rolled over and played dead after the big first inning, but they kept working and a hit here and a hit there could have made it a different story. At that point, we could have had a bigger inning. But you have to give [North Hagerstown] credit, they came out of it ahead."

The Hubs answered with four runs of their own in the following inning. Amber Smith walked the bases loaded to start the inning. North Hagerstown's Cristy Wentz ripped a single under Tina Smith's glove at third, bringing in the first two runs. Wentz later would scorethe fourth run of the inning on a Tawn Gregory groundout.

"At any level of competition whether it be softball or baseball, if you have the big inning you have to shut down the other team's next inning and we didn't do that," Linthicum said.

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