Franklin's formula: no pain, no gain

No. 10 Indians follow up win with conditioning

High Schools

Softball

April 25, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

If there's a better reward for winning than push-ups and sit-ups, the Franklin softball team hasn't found it.

The No. 10 Indians continued their required conditioning drills after soundly beating visiting Eastern Tech, 9-1, in Reisterstown yesterday.

As usual, the Franklin players plopped themselves behind third base in foul territory and did 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups and 10 leg lifts.

"It's our reward for winning," said senior Suzy Gill. "It's a pain sometimes, but it's good for us, and we don't mind it if we keep winning."

The Indians, leaders of the county's Division I with an 8-0 record, improved to 9-0 overall by complementing their strong pitching with timely hitting.

The Mavericks got on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning. With one out, senior Tracey Blackwell slapped a single to left field.

Junior Lauren Nagel followed with a single to center field, where Franklin sophomore Tiffany Arnold bobbled the ball.

That allowed Blackwell to reach third base, and she raced home when Arnold missed the cut-off player and the ball rolled lazily to junior third baseman Katrin O'Neil.

Trailing 1-0, the Indians opened the bottom of the second inning by loading the bases with one out.

Franklin proved to be patient batters, and Eastern Tech sophomore pitcher Tina Birchfield (11-1) issued a walk and hit a batter with a pitch to push across two runs.

Gill's single over the third-base bag scored two runners. After Birchfield struck out the next hitter, Indians senior C.J. Luers laced a single to center field to drive home two more.

Birchfield's courtesy runner, junior Elizabeth Haines, scored on a wild pitch to complete a seven-run inning.

"We haven't seen much good pitching, so to put up eight hits against a good pitcher like Tina Birchfield is a good game for us," Franklin coach David Turybury said.

Sophomore Wendy Stahl added a run in the fourth inning when she singled home Gill, and Arnold made up for her gaffe in the second inning by launching a towering home run to left field in the sixth.

Gill went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Luers was 1-for-4 with two RBIs, while Arnold was 1-for-1 with two RBIs and a run scored.

Luers struck out seven Mavericks batters and scattered five hits to improve to 9-0, but she credited her teammates with providing a comfortable margin.

"The offense came alive and backed me up," she said. "It makes my job so much easier."

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