ANNAPOLIS -- Five years, one day, 90 losses and three extra innings since its last victory, Annapolis High School won a softball game yesterday.
The Panthers' 90-game losing streak -- believed to be an all-time state record for consecutive defeats in any sport -- ended with an 8-7, 10-inning victory over Southern High of Anne Arundel. And that ending touched off a celebration.
"I'm so happy and so proud of everyone that I don't know what to say," shortstop Jodi Smith said, "except, 'We're going to have a party -- yeah!' "
The party got started when Jennifer Mauck hit a two-out, line-drive single to right field, scoring Uyen Do from third base with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th. Do crossed home, but the plate wasn't unoccupied for long.
Annapolis players wrestled themselves into a mound at home and quickly were joined by coaches, former coaches, parents, spectators from a vocal home crowd of about 300 -- even the team's longtime bus driver.
"I was yelling at the ball, 'Please go in. Please go in,' " said Mauck,also the winning pitcher. "Oh, man, I was so happy."
"These kids are used to being in the papers because they lose," Annapolis coach Gloria Day said. "Now, they can read about something new.
"It could make kids feel good about going into a sport and doing their best. That's the biggest part of it," she said.
"These kids are very special. They've put in a lot of effort, and were dedicated."
The Panthers (1-16), whose previous softball victory had been a 1-0 decision over Severna Park on May 7, 1986, won because they didn't wilt under pressure in extra innings.
Southern (3-13), which defeated Annapolis last week, 2-1, on a run in the seventh inning, rallied twice from four-run deficits and tied the game, 7-7, on Chrissy Mudd's suicide squeeze in the sixth inning.
In addition to scoring the winning run, Do made a game-saving effort in the field in the eighth.
With runners on first and third and none out, Southern's Amy Manifold blooped a high fly that dropped just inside the left field ,, line.
Racheal Lee broke for home, but third baseman Do raced back to field the ball and threw Lee out with a perfect strike to catcher Jen Enriquez. Do caught Mudd's pop on an attempted bunt, then fielded Tonia Nuckles' sharp grounder and threw to Allison Dacey at first to end the inning.
Mauck said she nearly didn't last the game. "My arm gave out in the seventh. I thought of coming out. But I said, 'No, you can't,' " she said. "I was just trying to put my pitches across the best that I could. I just wanted to do really, really well."
"This is the most positive thing that could happen to the most positive group of girls I have ever had on a team," Coach Day said.
"They were out here because they love softball and they really, really wanted to win."
How Annapolis ended its 90-game losing streak:
South.-AA 010 231 000 0 - 7 12 3
Annapolis 014 200 000 1 - 8 10 5
Bush and Padgett; Mauck and Enriquez. 2B: S -- Jameson,Lee. A -- White. RBI: S -- Jameson, Padgett, Mudd. A -- Mauck 3, Dacey, Oliver, Finkelstein.