By Rob Potter
LIBERTY May 30, 2003 The number 13 was lucky for the Liberty softball team on Tuesday.
Liberty scored 13 runs to defeat Chester 13-0 in a Section IX Class C softball quarterfinal.
With the win, the Lady Indians advanced to the Class C semifinals. They were scheduled to play at top-seeded Tuxedo yesterday.
(However, that game took place too late to be included in this issue of the Democrat.)
Liberty (12-6) scored all of its runs against Chester in the first four innings.
In the bottom of the first, Kate Yaun crossed home plate for the Lady Indians first run on a groundout by Christine Waryha.
Liberty added four runs in the second inning. With two outs and two runners on base, Waryha ripped a single to center field to score both Jamie Hopkins and Yaun.
Later in the frame, Waryha scored on a passed ball and Andrea TerBush scored on a wild pitch to give Liberty a 5-0 lead.
After adding a pair of runs in the third, the Lady Indians broke the game open by scoring six times in the fourth.
Waryha singled to lead off the inning and later scored on a passed ball. Christina Hinton had an RBI single to bring TerBush across the plate for a 9-0 advantage.
The next batter, Brittany Strysko, doubled to center field to score Hinton. Strysko, who went to third on a passed ball, scored when Chelsea LaGattuta grounded out.
Yaun knocked in the final two Lady Indian runs when she hit a double down the left field line.
Liberty Coach John Wilhelm was pleased with the way his team hit the ball throughout the game.
Thats what we needed, he said. A couple of times this season we were in games where we were down by a run with two outs and had runners on base but didnt get the two-out hit. Today we were able to get those two-out hits and the kids came to play.
Those key hits and good baserunning made for a winning combination for Liberty.
We ran the bases aggressively all game, Wilhelm said. We wanted them to have to make the plays.
Yaun gave up only two hits and struck out 11 batters to earn the victory on the mound.
Chester Coach Billy Smith noted that an injury to starting catcher Kelly Schmidlein affected his team. Schmidlein hurt her knee in the Lady Hambletonians final regular season game and could not squat in the catching position. She was the teams designated player on Tuesday, batting but not playing behind the plate.
Not having her was a big minus today, said Smith, who is in his first year as the Chester softball coach. She was a stabilizing force behind the plate. She and our pitcher, Tonya Hipsman, worked well together all year.
Smith praised Amanda McCarthy, who filled in for Schmidlein behind the plate.
She was the star of the game for us today, he said. She was in a tough spot, but she was great. She had a great attitude when she realized she might have to catch.