North Carroll made just one mistake. Glenelg made at least a half dozen.
And that difference decided the Region I, Class 2A softball championship Saturday at Glenelg.
The Panthers won their fourth straight regional title, 6-5, in a thriller that saw Glenelg rally from a 4-0 second-inning deficit. But in the end, base-running blunders and fielding mistakes proved Glenelg's undoing.
Take the fourth inning, when Glenelg scored three runs on three hits to pull within a run, 4-3.
Glenelg's Karyn Duff led off the inning with a walk. Lory Wineman reached base on an error, North Carroll's only mistake. Jodi Kielman hit the best shot of the game, a blast to center that was ruled a ground-rule double when it stuck under the fence.
One runner scored on the hit, and left Glenelg with runners at third and second. After Robin Ruppalt popped to the third baseman, Tanissa Dorsey singled to center, driving in Wineman. And Joy Younce hit a fielder's choice to left, bringing home Kielman.
Younce's drive should have been a single, but Dorsey broke late from second base waiting to see if the ball would be caught. And it proved an error in judgment, because she was thrown out at third base.
Younce took second base on the play, but later was thrown out trying to steal third base -- a cardinal mistake that let the air out of Glenelg's big rally.
North Carroll came back for two more scores in the fifth inning, but both runs were tainted.
The Panthers had one runner aboard and two out when Sheri Martin bashed a fly ball to right field. It might have been catchable, but Glenelg right fielder Donna Snyder ran forward, and by the time she corrected herself the ball had sailed over her head for a triple.
Then, on the next play, the normally sure-handed Duff booted a routine grounder at second base that allowed another run to score. It turned out to be the winning run.
In the bottom of the sixth, Glenelg rallied for two runs on singles by Duff and Wineman, an RBI ground-out by Kielman and a wild pitch that allowed a run to score.
Dorsey singled with two out to keep the rally alive, but she was thrown out attempting to steal second base.
"If we had had a couple more innings I think we would have passed them," said second baseman Duff. "It was a pretty even game."
Glenelg, whose only two previous losses were to county champion Centennial, prided itself on its sound fundamentals all season. It's final record was 15-3.
"We probably have the best defensive infield in the county," Coach Chuck Struhar said.
But it wasn't quite good enough to get the job done Saturday.