Home cooking apparently wasn't nourishing for Carroll girls teams in last weekend's Amateur Softball Association youth state championships.
Eight Carroll squads entered the tourney's 10-and-under, 12-and-under, and 14-and-under brackets against 14 other teams.
But only Hampstead and Westminster -- finishing second and third, respectively, in the 14-and-under division -- were reasonably successful.
Hampstead, which won a National Softball Association state title last weekend, saw its bid for a second championship vanish Sunday afternoon when the Howard County Terminators prevailed, 10-3, in the final.
Earlier, Hampstead had exited the losers' bracket with a 12-10 win over that same team.
But far from distraught, Hampstead coach Keith Woodburn said, "First and second for us in two state tournaments is nothing to sneeze at."
On the way to its finale, Hampstead eliminated the Westminster Rockets, 8-7, which completed a weekend of frustration for the Rockets, who lost twice to the North Carroll-based squad.
"Our girls are nervous about Hampstead for some reason," said Rocket coach Jerry Georgiana.
"If we'd gotten past them, nobody would have stopped us," added the Westminster coach, whose team finished 4-2.
Hampstead and Westminster each won a berth in the ASA Eastern Regional Tournament July 18-19 in Tidewater, Va. They also had won national and regional spots based on their performances at last week's NSA event.
Little League District II will hold its first Tournament of Champions in July for all the major league teams that have won their respective divisions.
It will give the Cubs another world to conquer.
The Cubs' 10- to 12-year-olds won almost everything in sight this season at their stomping grounds in the Taneytown Little League.
They were 22-0 in the regular season and then swept two more games to take their division's postseason tournament.
The Cubs nailed things down Saturday as pitcher Vince Stonesifer fanned 14 en route to a 9-0 shutout of the White Sox in that tourney final. They had blanked the Cardinals, 15-0, on June 20 in the playoff opener behind pitcher Danny Johnson.
As you may have guessed, pitching was a Cub strong point, although everything else was, too.
Brothers Wayne and Arnold Johnson rounded out a four-man pitching staff that "threw nothing but strikes," said Mike Stonesifer, who managed the team with help from Dan Johnson.
Vince Stonesifer's stratospheric .722 batting average and eight home runs paced a Cub slugging attack the produced more than 14 runs per game. The pitching staff allowed only 4.5.
Larry Naill batted .565 and thrived in left field.
"He is one of the best outfielders in Carroll County as far as I'm concerned," Stonesifer said.
Stonesifer identified 10-year-old second baseman Darren Hooper as another defensive stalwart.
The Cubs manager said he thought his team would be good when the year started and that it would battle down to the wire for the championship.
Aaron Hoff, Jon Wantz, Andy Jenkins, Mike Bohn, Jimmy Lemmer and Nathan Schaffer round out the team.