Glen Burnie clinches softball national title First women's team from Md. to win ASA

HITS AND MISSES

September 13, 1992|By Mike Nortrup

On Labor Day weekend, the Drug-Free All-Stars became the first Maryland women's team to win an Amateur Softball Association national title since ASA began national championship play in 1933.

The Glen-Burnie-based squad, sponsored and named by Annapolis resident Gerald Ferri as part of an effort to create positive role-models in the fight against drugs, clinched ASA's women's class A national title Sunday night with a 12-6 win over Anderson Automotive (Pa.) in Midland, Texas.

The win climaxed a 10-game win streak that began after the squad was bumped to the losers' bracket in its second game of the tournament.

Besides Anne Arundel, Carroll County also owns a piece of that national championship trophy.

Six All-Stars, along with assistant manager Dave Harford, live in or near Westminster.

The local players joined the Stars after their teams folded over the past two years. Six, four of whom graduated from area high schools, had a hand in the title effort.

Lisa Sullivan led the Stars with a .649 average and made the all-tourney third team. Mary Corbett and Joyce Janyska were chosen for the second team.

Wendy Harmon got key pinch hits that led directly to two wins, and Belinda Brown contributed as a pinch hitter and pinch runner.

Scorekeeper Michelle Yingling contributed by telling Stars manager Tim Enders where each opposition batter had hit the ball so he could position his defense.

The Stars were 92-13 coming into Midland, with ten tournament titles, including one in a July ASA tournament that qualified them for the nationals.

But despite that glitter, Westminster High grad Sullivan was cautious before the tournament.

"In a national you face the best teams in the country. Your chances of winning are slim," she said.

They probably seemed sub-microscopic after the Stars lost Saturday's second tournament game.

Corbett recalled, "it seemed pretty grim," but then added, "we'd come all the way down here. We didn't want to give up."

The key game came that evening when the Stars tied the Pittsburg-based Angels 13-13 on a two-out, seventh inning,

three-run homer by tourney MVP Mary

Beck, and then won it 16-13 on another three-run homer by Beck two innings later.

Now, even the prospect of having to still win seven consecutive games didn't seem that daunting.

"After that, we were on an emotional high," Harford said.

That roll continued through Sunday's 95-degree heat, culminating with a two-game sweep of previously-undefeated Anderson.

After their 5-1 decision gave Anderson a loss, the Stars clung to a slim 7-6 lead in the final as they batted in the visitors' seventh.

But Sullivan put the game away with a three-run homer, and teammate Sue McPhearson later provided a heart-stopping finish when she grabbed a bases-loaded Anderson drive at the fence for the game's final out.

Corbett remembers an emotional post-game scene.

"It was like the World Series. Everybody on the team was hollering and cheering," she said.

"I feel this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. It really is," said Sullivan.

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