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Hartley dominates again in Leopards' win

By CAREY FREEMAN

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 28, 2001


DUNNELLON -- For all Hernando achieved Friday during the Class 3A, District 6 championship -- a second consecutive title and a school-tying 27th win -- it was the effort of one individual that stood out above the rest.

Just where does one start with Chrissy Hartley?

The superb hitting? The dominant pitching? The instinctive fielding?

How about all of the above?

Hartley led the Leopards past Crystal River for the second consecutive year behind her second consecutive one-hitter and a 3-for-3 performance at the plate in a 2-1 victory.

"We needed her to do that," Leopards coach Ernie Chatman said. "She's been a good player for us for four years, and she's been at her best in big ballgames. There were times when she could have folded a bit today. She's a little injured. She had a groin pull from the other night, but she sucked it up and did it.

"You know, the cream rises to the top." Hartley put Hernando (27-3) on top in the first inning, and her pitching made sure the Leopards did not fall from their perch.

Hartley led off the first with a single. Two batters later, Kimi Olmstead singled to left and a two-base error allowed Hartley to score.

Hernando picked up its second run in the second when Kristi Langworthy led off with a triple. She scored one batter later on a single by Hartley, who allowed just two Pirates to reach base the rest of the way. Hartley finished with nine strikeouts and allowed two walks.

Crystal River had chances to score in the second and fourth but could not get the crucial hit. In fact, the Pirates (13-15) scored their only run without registering a hit. Tiffany Goode led off the fifth with a walk. After advancing to second on a ground ball, she stole third and home.

"She can pitch," Crystal River coach Laura Wingate said of Hartley. "Obviously, (we) couldn't handle it."

Hernando will host Keystone Heights, a 2-0 loser to Alachua Santa Fe, on Tuesday. Crystal River will travel to Santa Fe for its first-round game.

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