Franklin turns ace on Liberty

Widerman leads Indians with six strikeouts, 7-0

Softball

High Schools

March 31, 2000|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

You can excuse Franklin softball coach Rick Wiscott if he parades around local diamonds this spring wearing a knowing smile on his face. Directing a pitching staff that includes probably the three top hurlers in Baltimore County, the veteran Indians coach is quite aware that he's suddenly become the envy of his counterparts.

"It frustrates the heck out of the other coaches who don't have one pitcher, and here we have three," Wiscott said. "I don't try to flaunt it, but it's just nice to have."

Yesterday, Jamie Widerman took her turn, scattering four singles over seven innings and striking out six as No. 12 Franklin cruised to a 7-0 win over visiting Liberty to improve to 3-0 on the season.

The game was never in doubt, with the Indians taking advantage of three Liberty errors and eight walks by starter Lindsey Rankin to score three runs each in the first two innings, including two on a pair of RBI singles by Widerman and another on an RBI double by Candice Doten (3-for-3, three runs scored).

Widerman, meanwhile, never allowed a runner past second base, and got plenty of support from a defense that hasn't committed an error this season.

Still, she said, it was somewhat of a struggle.

"My outside pitch wasn't working, and the umpire wasn't really calling it inside," Widerman said. "I was just concentrating on that low pitch and hoping he would call it for me."

For Liberty (1-1), which opened the season with a victory over rival South Carroll, the game was somewhat of a learning experience -- one that coach Nora Murray hopes will pay dividends down the road.

"She's a good pitcher, and that's going to help us throughout the whole season," Murray said. "We made some good contact on the ball, and that's what you're looking for this early in the season. We made a couple mistakes, but I don't feel we played too poorly. From the third inning on we held them [to one run]."

Widerman is part of a staff that also includes Jen Fried and Chrissy Luers, all of whom throw in the upper 50s. Luers, who Wiscott said is the hardest thrower of the three, is just a sophomore.

Wiscott sees the three basically as interchangeable parts, giving him the confidence to trust his bullpen when his starter has a bad day.

To Widerman, that's just one of many reasons why the defending county champions think they can play well in May's state tournament.

"We mold a lot better than last year," Widerman said. "Last year there were a lot of tiffs between team members, but this year we get along a lot better. We pick each other up when we make mistakes. That's what you need to win at states."

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