Glenelg's softball team spoiled Mount Hebron's season opener early, taking a 9-0 lead after two innings en route to a 12-1 victory yesterday.
The consensus favorite to win Howard County's title this spring, Glenelg (1-1-1) pounced on the Vikings for its first victory of the season.
Glenelg junior Lyndsay Smith went the distance, allowing three hits and striking out five. She was supported by an offense that recorded 10 hits and was led by seniors Lory Wineman (3-for-4), Joy Younce (2-for-4) and sophomore Susan Geisler (four RBI). Senior Donna Snyder and junior Robin Ruppalt each tallied two RBI.
Smith, a right-hander, pitched all of Glenelg's season-opening, 8-8 standoff with Centennial.
"I felt good throwing, better than I did the first game," said Smith, a transfer from New Jersey. "This was [Mount Hebron's] first game of the season and they were probably nervous. But we played up to our potential and we're back on target now."
The Vikings committed only three errors, but each one came in the first inning, leading to runs by Younce, Wineman and junior Jodi Kielman for a 3-0 edge.
With sophomore Jenny Joyce on the mound for Mount Hebron, the Gladiators broke the game open with a six-run second-inning.
The rally started with two outs. First, Young scored off Wineman's single. Two batters later -- with the bases loaded -- Snyder's opposite-field single knocked home Wineman and Karyn Duff. After Kielman scored again, Ruppalt's single sent Geisler and Snyder home for a nine-run difference.
"Up to this point, we haven't been hitting the ball. We killed the ball today, we hit it hard," Glenelg coach Chuck Struhar said. "Sometimes you kill the ball and somebody happens to be there. But we hit it hard and I was real happy with that. That's the key to our game."
The next inning, a wild throw by first baseman Kielman enabled Christie Machiram to score the Vikings' only run. But Geisler's double in the bottom of the third -- the Gladiators' only extra-base hit -- scored two runs and accounted for the final score.
Joyce, a right-hander, allowed only two hits from then on. She struck out seven batters.
Entering the game, Mount Hebron hadn't even scrimmaged, and coach Harry Reese felt it safe to say, "We're obviously better than we played today. We have a good nucleus from last year and a good pitcher [Joyce]. We also have some new people and they haven't played against anybody. I look for a different result tomorrow vs. Howard."