It was a tough-luck one-hitter that went in the "W" column. And that's the kind of result that Mandy Albrecht and Glen Burnie can accept every day.
The host and fifth-ranked Gophers (2-1) scored all the runs they would need in the first inning. Albrecht, backed by a fine infield defense, then stopped No. 8 Old Mill, 5-1, in an important Anne Arundel County 4A softball game yesterday.
Heather Smith capped a three-run Glen Burnie first by doubling to score two teammates. Old Mill scored an unearned run in the second, but only one other Patriots (1-2) runner reached second base.
That came when Stacey Jordan lost Lori Lynch's third-inning drive in Glen Burnie's notorious left-field sun. But catcher Lee Mallonee immediately gunned down Lynch's attempted steal of third, and Albrecht set down 13 of the last 14 batters. The one reached on an error.
"I was just trying to move the ball around. The defense was great. Everyone reacted to what was hit," said Albrecht (1-1), a senior and former backup to Jennifer Schmittle who made her Old Mill debut yesterday.
Albrecht used five different deliveries to find the plate on 63 of 84 deliveries, fan five, walk none and get 20 of 21 outs in an infield that committed two early errors.
Gophers coach Bob Broccolino, whose team had eight hits, was not ecstatic with a win that evened his 4A record at 1-1. "Their [the players'] thinking was: with three runs and Mandy, we have it in the bag," he said. "They have to learn to bury teams."
Glen Burnie showed some of the finishing touch with a pair of two-out, sixth-inning runs off reliever Schmittle. Mallonee tripled for one. But the other scored when second-baseman Pam Williams fielded a two-out grounder and, passing up first base, missed cutting down Mallonee at the plate.
That, said coach Debbie Shacklock (also 1-1 in 4A), was indicative of a team that lost nine players from last year. "It's youth, inexperience and mental mistakes. We talk to the girls all the time about communication. But there was silence in the infield before Pam fielded that ball," she said. "They don't communicate. They can wait until practice tomorrow."