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Softball: Strawberry Crest pulls even with Jefferson in district after shutout

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Wed. March 23, 2011 | Steve Lee

DOVER — Strawberry Crest had marked Tuesday’s home game against Class 4A, District 9 rival Jefferson since Feb. 18, the day the Dragons (9-3, 7-1) won 10-9 to give the Chargers their lone loss of the season.

Turns out it was well worth the wait. Strawberry Crest avenged that defeat and tied Jefferson atop the district standings with a 2-0 win.

“It picks up our team morale,” Chargers coach Mindy Miltner said. “We’ve been waiting for this game, to get another chance to play them.”

More important than keeping its home unbeaten streak alive (now at 7-0), Miltner said, “was beating those guys. They are our rivals.”

Brianna Alonso pitched a two-hitter, striking out nine and walking four to improve to 12-1.

“She threw well tonight,” Miltner said. “She kept the ball down and the changeup was working nice.”

Strawberry Crest (14-1, 10-1) loaded the bases in the first two innings and made it count the second time. Maria Garcia drew a leadoff walk, advanced on a walk to Amanda Polk and again when Phoebe Ellington was hit for the second time in two innings. Garcia scored on a wild pitch by Jefferson’s Reina Baluja.

The Chargers might have had a more productive inning if not for a baserunning gaffe. Polk was easily tagged out at home by catcher Natali Morgado when Shamaria Engram was walked with first base open.

The Chargers got an insurance run in the sixth on Mia Fung’s RBI double that scored Cacey Simmons, who singled to leftfield on a 3-2 pitch after two slap attempts went foul.

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