Whiteleather gave up only two hits _ a

By Eric Clutter Published:

Whiteleather gave up only two hits _ a first-inning triple to Stephanie

Moore and an infield single to Kelly Smosarski in the sixth _ and carried

a shutout into the bottom of the sixth before yielding a pair of runs on

successive wild pitches.

Other than that, Whiteleather was overpowering as she struck out 17 batters,

pitching her team to within one game of a state title. That game, against

Wellington, will be played Saturday afternoon at 3:45 p.m.

Edinburg coach Dick Badger is looking forward to his team's initial state

title appearance and a chance for an undefeated season, as Edinburg now

stands at 21-0.

``We're real excited about that; it's our first state tournament,'' said

Badger. ``We know what we can do in our own league. We're anxious to see

how we do elsewhere. We saw that Wellington team play and they are a nice

team. We're just real excited about the opportunity to play them for the

state tournament title.''

With a thrower like Whiteleather, Edinburg can play with anybody. ``She's

a real power pitcher,'' said Badger. ``We've seen just about all the pitchers

now, and she throws as hard as anybody around in this age group. She doesn't

give up a lot of hits; she throws strikes. She's pretty hard to beat.''

Edinburg broke on top against Stephanie Moore with a pair of runs in the

second on a single by Olivia Weber. With two out and two strikes, Weber

hit the ball just out of the reach of the Crestwood first baseman and the

ball fell just inside the line, scoring Suzie Hayes and Kara Gintert.

Edinburg then put the game out of reach by tacking on five more runs the

very next inning. This time Gintert provided the big hit, a two-run single

to left that plated a pair of runners to make the score 6-0.

The lead eventually grew to 10-0 before Crestwood touched up Whiteleather

for two runs in the sixth. But Edinburg quickly answered with three more

in the top of the seventh.

Impressive as Whiteleather's performance was, the fact that Edinburg enjoyed

success against Moore was also noteworthy. Coming into Sunday's game, Moore

had thrown two no-hitters in tournament play alone.

For Crestwood, which fell to 14-5 with a consolation game awaiting next

Saturday, there was disappointment on one hand, but also the positive experience

of playing for a bid to go to the championship game.

``It's a little frustrating, but I'm proud of the girls coming as far as

they did,'' said Crestwood coach LeRoy Moore. ``There are a lot of other

teams that didn't get this far. It was a good opportunity for us.''

Moore said the key for his team, against a pitcher such as Whiteleather,

was to get the ball in play. But that rarely occurred.

``I counted the first 13 pitches that she threw, two of them were balls.

So you know she's throwing strikes; she's throwing them over,'' said Moore.

``Our girls just had to swing the bat and get the ball into play to put

pressure on the defense. But we just weren't able to hit her.''

In A Division semifinal games, the South Amherst Cavaliers edged Brimfield

Home Savings Bank and Wellington Jordan Wood Products topped Marlboro Park

Farms.

Suffield Hendrickson Construction blanked the West Branch Lady Warriors

in C Division action and will meet Wellington C & W Trucking for a state

title Saturday.

Rootstown fell in a D Division semifinal to the Lorain Lady Diamonds. Lorain

will meet Twinsburg for a state championship Saturday.

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