Because Heather Smith doesn't like to bunt, the fourth-longest winning streak in high school softball history ended in the 16th inning at Glen Burnie yesterday.
Smith's one-out single scored Michele Ackerman from third to defeat Northeast, 4-3, and stop the top-ranked Eagles' victory string at 64 games since 1988.
Ackerman, the second batter for No. 4 Glen Burnie (6-2) in the 16th, tripled down the right-field line. Smith then lined reliever Ericka Shade's first pitch between third and shortstop.
"I was nervous because I don't like to bunt, and that's what Coach [Bob] Broccolino wanted me to do," Smith said.
Broccolino then decided to give Smith one swing before ordering a suicide squeeze.
Catholic High School of Vandebilt, La., is the all-time leader with 112 consecutive wins in 1980-83, followed by Woodland Hills of El Camino Real, Calif. (73 in 1984-87) and James Madison of Vienna, Va. (71 straight in 1987-90).
"Nobody would say it outwardly, but I felt the pressure and so did the kids," said Northeast coach Lynn Pitonzo, whose team is seeking its fourth straight Class 2A title. "We've made a major accomplishment, but now it's time to go back to work. This is not the end of the world."