Northeast topples No. 3 Arundel, 4-1 Softball

April 06, 1993|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

Northeast softball coach Ron Price didn't need many words to explain how his 15th-ranked Eagles were able to upset No. 3 Arundel, 4-1, yesterday in Pasadena.

"No defensive blunders," he said.

And no loss.

After committing 18 errors in its first two games -- including 11 in an embarrassing 9-8 defeat to Queen Anne's -- Northeast had just two miscues yesterday.

The Eagles also had their biggest offensive showing with eight hits, but scoring runs wasn't Price's greatest concern.

"The major thing today was we didn't make errors," he said. "They knew they beat themselves last week."

Arundel (0-1) wouldn't beat them yesterday, even though the Wildcats had runners on base in every inning except the second. Eagles pitcher Loren Bailey escaped bases-loaded jams in the last two innings, striking out pinch hitter Marcia Lavin to end the game.

"I think her hand was getting cold," Price said of Bailey, who gave up nine hits and struck out nine.

The Eagles' bats finally heated up in this game. Northeast had just two hits in a 5-4 win over North County, and five in the loss to Queen Anne's.

First baseman Chastity Gordon singled in two runs in the third inning, and center fielder Shana McKinney went 2-for-3.

"We finally hit the ball. We stung the ball," Price said.

Shortstop Jen Johansen tripled to left on the first pitch from Arundel right-hander Traci Koenig. After a strikeout, catcher Velvet Farrell lofted a sacrifice fly to center.

The Eagles loaded the bases in the third inning on consecutive singles by Beth Benner, Farrell and Bailey. Second baseman Shiela Russo grounded to second, and Benner beat the throw home for a 2-0 lead. Gordon followed with a two-run single to left, before right fielder Kellie Frashure lined into a double play.

Arundel's only run came in the fourth inning. Catcher Heather Daffin (3-for-4) led off with a double to left-center, and pinch runner Kim Humelsine scored on an infield hit by Virginia Gonski and a throwing error.

That was the last defensive lapse for Northeast. Russo made two lunging stops, including one in the seventh inning when she knocked down a line drive and threw to second for the force, and Gordon made a running catch of a foul pop near Arundel's bench.

"The offense just isn't there yet," said Wildcats coach Don Banks. "We had the opportunities, but we didn't cash in. The first time around, they were skeptical at bat. They were timid."

The Wildcats also were two games behind Northeast because of the inclement weather.

"We've had an advantage -- we've played two and they haven't," Price said. "That really helped. We're used to the cold weather, too."

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