All three area teams have been knocked into the losers' bracket of the Amateur Softball Association Junior Olympic Women's Under-18 national fast-pitch tournament in Columbia.
State champion Wagner's of Glen Burnie edged the St. Louis Stingers, 2-1, yesterday, before losing to tournament dark horse Team Valley of Vancouver, Wash., 3-1, at Cedar Lane Park.
Wagner's (62-13-1) led 1-0 in the first inning when Erica Backof (Woodlawn High School, Catonsville CC) lined a two-out single off the leg of pitcher Stacy Jordan.
That scored Kim Sheridan (Archbishop Spalding) and knocked Jordan from the game, but left-hander Sallie Street came on to stop Wagner's on one hit.
Team Valley (74-14), which had advanced with a 5-3 win over 1990 national under-16 champion Hot Stuff of California, tied the game with a fourth-inning run off of Amy Jakubowski (Chesapeake-AA), The Sun's 1991 Player of the Year, and scored two more against Sheridan in the seventh.
Against St. Louis, Stacey Matcuk (Chesapeake-AA) singled to score Lee Mallonee (Glen Burnie) and Jen McKeldin (Northeast) in the fourth. Sheridan threw a three-hitter, striking out four and walking one.
Wagner's will play at 4 p.m. today against an opponent to be determined.
East Region champion Jade Garden of Glen Burnie was nudged into the losers' bracket of the 70-team tournament when it lost to Oklahoma City Ultimate, 1-0, in eight innings.
Tiffany Nelms' one-out, bases-loaded single to center made a hard-luck loser of pitcher Kerri Endler (Spalding), who was victimized when a fly ball to open the eighth was misplayed into a double.
Jade Garden (25-13) stranded six runners in the first three innings. The Bandits' best chance came with two out and Nicole Meister (Spalding) on second base in the third, but Cindy Hankinson made a superb over-the-shoulder catch on a drive by Shani Cannon (Severna Park) to deep left.
Jade Garden faces Broken Arrow (Okla.) today at noon.
Tournament co-host Tangerine Machine of Glen Burnie lost to Columbus, Ohio, 5-4, Wednesday night. It will play tomorrow at 8 a.m. against a team to be determined.