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ANNVILLE >> There are many who believe that Elco's Claire Shaak is the best all-around scholastic softball player in Lebanon County.

She did nothing on Friday to change any of those minds.

The Raiders' senior pitcher and No. 3 hitter was at her do-it-all best against county rival Annville-Cleona, firing a 10-strikeout two-hit shutout on the mound and slugging a single, double and triple at the plate to lift Elco to a 2-0 victory in a Section Three-Four crossover contest at A-C.

Shaak tied Section Four leader A-C (8-2, 7-2 Section Four) in knots with her artful pitching effort, yielding only a two-out bloop single to Christy Snyder in the first and an infield single to Cayla Gassert leading off the fifth.

And at the plate, Shaak helped Elco (6-4, 5-4 Section Three) spoil a nearly-as-stellar pitching effort from A-C's Emma Lerchen by rapping an RBI double to drive home Elco's first run in the fourth. She scored Elco's second run later in the frame on an RBI single by Vern Reinhart.

All in a day's work for the Raiders' catalyst.

"You can't say enough about the girl," said Elco coach Dennis Morgan of Shaak, now hitting close to .700 for the season. "I could say yes, that she's the best all-around player in the county. I'm a little partial, but I'd say she's the best you can find. And she's a solid team leader. You can't ask for more than that."

For her part, Shaak was more matter-of-fact when speaking about what she brings to the table, but did acknowledge that Friday's all-around effort was one of her best.

Ditto for the Raiders as a whole, who supported Shaak well defensively despite two shaky errors late.

"I think that's the best I pitched in a while," Shaak said. "I controlled and hit my spots, and hitting, I just hit the ball hard. I've been hitting well, so I just wanted to do the same thing today."

A-C coach Dave Bentz tipped his cap to Shaak as well, while also shaking his finger at what he felt was a less than inspired performance from his own troops.

"We definitely weren't prepared to play, for some reason," Bentz said. "I don't know why. She's a good pitcher, but we made her look very good. She can wear red and white (A-C's colors) for me any day. She definitely made us look inferior at the plate. We had very few good swings."

Elco didn't have a whole lot more quality hacks, but pieced most of them together during the aforementioned fourth inning uprising.

Catcher Beth Hess opened the inning with a single and promptly stole second to move into scoring position. Shaak followed with a line double to left center that chased home Hess and scored herself one batter later on Reinhart's RBI hit.

"It was a close game, but we got the outs when we needed to and got the timely hits when we needed them," Morgan said. "Emma Lerchen threw a good game. I think everything fell into place with our hitting and defense."

Lerchen was good indeed, but Shaak was simply better against an A-C lineup that, to be fair, was missing center fielder and potent bat Hannah Fischer because of a foot injury.

"I was hitting my spots, hitting my corners," said Shaak. "There were a couple girls that I had to make sure I didn't throw it over the plate, and I thought I did that pretty well. And my defense helped me."

The only anxious moments for Shaak and the Raiders came in the bottom of the sixth, when a two-out dropped pop-up unnerved Shaak enough that she walked the next hitter to put two runners on with two outs.

But she wiggled out of that jam, then worked around another error in the seventh with the help of second baseman Beth Wiczalkowski, who turned Mindy Reigle's line drive into a game-ending double play.

Even players as good as Shaak need some help once in a while.

"She's so humble about what she does," Morgan said of his star player. "She has the school record now for doubles, and she's probably batting over .700. And the contributions she makes on the field...Girls can make a mistake and she doesn't get upset. She's as calm as you can ask anybody to be. And when a girl makes the final out she's the first one to shake their hand.

"She just wants to go out there and play the game."

Elco 2, Annville-Cleona 0

Elco0002000—262Annville-Cleona0000000—020

W — Shaak; L — Lerchen;

SO-BB — E: Shaak (7 IP, 10 K, 3 BB), AC: Lerchen (7 IP, 9 K, 0 BB)

2B — E: Shaak;

3B — E: Shaak ;

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