Westminster's softball team benefited from strong pitching, good defense and timely hitting yesterday.
Five North Carroll errors didn't hurt, either.
Stephanie Harrell threw a six-hitter, and Westminster used the errors to score five unearned runs on the way to a 6-1 victory over No. 10 North Carroll in a Carroll County and Central Maryland Conference game at North Carroll Middle School.
North Carroll (1-2 overall, 0-1 in county, 0-2 in conference) made the five errors in the first four innings.
They led directly to five of the six runs, and Westminster (3-2, 2-1, 2-2) led 5-0 in the middle of the third and 6-1 after four.
"You don't win ballgames when you make five errors against a good program like Westminster," said North Carroll coach Phil Bonnell. "Errors . . . cost us."
Harrell started things by reaching on an error with one out in the first, and she later scored on a sacrifice fly by Laura Braun.
Sherri Schmitz and Erin McKinney scored in the second on a dropped pop-up with two outs.
Braun reached on an error to start the third. Steph Bollinger walked, and both moved up on a ground out.
Jessie Furbay singled to right, scoring Braun. Schmitz grounded to short, bringing in Bollinger for a 5-0 lead.
The Owls took advantage of miscues in the fourth to score their final run.
Julie Backof led off with a single and moved to second on a ground out by Braun. Bollinger grounded back to pitcher Kandi Lippy, who threw her out.
First baseman Michele Jeffery tried to nail Backof at third, but Jenny Rongione couldn't handle the throw and made an error. The ball bounced away, and left fielder Jill Ballard threw the ball away trying to get Backof at home.
"[Tuesday] we got the 10 hits and only two runs," said Westminster coach Kathy Hodgkins. "[Yesterday] we only had six hits. The errors definitely helped out. I think it relaxed them."
Harrell also hurt the Panthers. She turned in her second strong performance in as many days, scattering six hits.
"I had good location today," said Harrell, who lost a tough 3-2 decision to Liberty on Tuesday.
North Carroll, despite getting two hits in three separate innings, scored only in the third inning.
Ballard reached on a two-out error. Jeffery followed with a single and Theresa Mays drove in Ballard with a single, slicing the lead to 5-1.
Harrell regained control after that, retiring seven in a row before running into trouble in the sixth. She got the final four batters to seal the victory.
Despite getting the loss, Lippy pitched well.
She gave up only six hits and retired 10 of the final 11 batters.