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Indians finally get job done; head to state tournament

by Mike Nutter


(May 25) SUMMERSVILLE -- Beth Guzzi has thrown five no-hitters this season alone, and has struck out hundreds of batters during her career.

She has routinely dominated opposing batters.

But for Bridgeport's junior pitcher -- and her senior teammates, who had suffered two painful defeats in the 1997 and 1996 regional final -- Guzzi's seemingly average game Saturday, nine hits and five runs notwithstanding, was the sweetest of all.

Clinging to a 6-5 lead with two out in the bottom of the seventh, Bridgeport looked to be in danger of falling for a third time when Greenbrier East's Jessica White stepped to the plate.

White had homered off of Guzzi in the first and was enjoying a 3-for-3 game. Plus, a Spartan runner was on third.

However, Guzzi proved that even on an average day, she can be dominating, as she fanned White looking to end Greenbrier East's threat and give the Indians a berth in next week's state tournament.

"She had been a tough out," Guzzi said. "I gave her a couple of inside pitches, and then I threw outside to her and caught her looking.

"I feel like this was the best game that I have ever pitched because I knew that if we lost this game we were done. Going to the state tournament was one of my main goals, and now we are going."

Bridgeport (20-7) now will play Martinsburg in the first round of the state tournament next week at Memorial Park in Summersville.

"I'm extremely proud of these girls," said Pratt.

"They have worked very hard all year and I think that this is a direct result of it. Our seniors have been working for this since they were freshmen, and I think that they have earned it now," Pratt commented.

Tied at two, Bridgeport capitalized on four Spartan errors in the top of the fourth to grab a 6-2 lead.

The lead appeared to be more than enough for Guzzi, but Greenbrier East responded with two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth, leading to the seventh-inning drama.

"This is a great honor to go to the state. But, we don't want to stop here," Pratt said. "We are going to keep on playing good ball and try to win a few more games."

Amanda Stanley went 2-for-4 to lead the Indians, while Alyssa Pasternak added a hit and scored twice.