Bud McCully thought he had a pretty good softball team even though it finished the season tied for third in the Hampstead Lions 13-16 division.
"We lost a couple of games early in the season that we shouldn't have," McCully observed.
But his W. D. Rill squad suddenly righted itself with a vengeance in the post-season tourney with three resounding wins.
Rill clinched the post-season crown Sunday afternoon with an 18-3 romp over the Maryland State Troopers team.
Maryland Troopers had beaten Rill twice during a topsy-turvy regular-season campaign in which Rill also defeated first-place Renfro Sunoco twice.
"I guess we just had lapses against some of the other teams," McCully said.
But after that regular-season roller coaster stopped, "The girls made up their minds they wanted to win the post-season tournament. We hit the ball well, and that was the key," he said.
That tourney saw Rill demolish three opponents by a combined score of 46-10.
Sunday, it jumped in front of Maryland Troopers with a six-tun first inning, two scoring on Lisa McCully's double.
Rill then continued the cannonading as Melissa Morgan went 3-for-4 with a triple, home run and five RBI. Cindy Loyna and Kelly Ryan each chipped in with 3-for-4 games.
Ray Smith always keeps a scrapbook depicting highlights of the year for each of the baseball teams he manages.
This year's edition should be a dilly.
Smith's Hampstead American Legion baseball team roared to the Hampstead Lions' major league division championship with a 12-0 record. It then swept two playoff games to take the post-season title.
The Legion nailed down their post season on June 26 with an 11-5 win over C-D Garage Doors at Hampstead Lions Park.
Several days earlier, the Legion had beaten C. J. Miller 16-1 in its playoff opener.
"I knew we'd be one of the top two-three teams in the league," Smith said.
But a midseason come-from-behind 6-5 win over first-place challenger Miller Asphalt convinced him that his team was indeed special.
"We all grew up a little bit that game. It was pivotal for us," Smith said.
"I look over the highlights of games, and every time it seems like a different boy."
Two key players were pitchers Chad Gugliotta and David Smith, who also batted .657 and .695, respectively.
Chad Lettau was a lead-off genius, with an on-base percentage of .756, reaching base 25 of 28 times over one seven-game stretch.
Mark Seaford added versatility by playing seven different positions.
Tim Wilfong did it with hustle, winning his team's Most Determined Player" award. "He would run through a backstop," Smith said.
Smith also credited coaches Barry Lowe, Bill Browm, Dave Meyd and Randy Wineke for their assistance.