Panthers run out of rallies, suffer 10-3 loss to Owls Softball

May 11, 1993|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

For years, North Carroll has come up with big plays late in close games to come away with victories.

Late in the season is when what coach Phil Bonnell refers to as "North Carroll softball" becomes most evident. It has led them to two state titles in the '90s and a handful of county championships along the way.

So when the the defending county champ Panthers scrapped for a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to tie the score at 3 against Westminster, it appeared another patented Panthers victory would follow.

Not this time. Host Westminster took charge with a seven-run sixth inning to pull away from the Panthers and claim a 10-3 win yesterday at Deer Park Field outside of Westminster.

The Owls (9-7 overall, 4-1 county) put themselves in position to clinch the county title tomorrow when they meet Liberty, which has only one county loss and today will play host to North Carroll (9-5, 3-2).

"We expected a close game, so when they tied it 3-3 I just told our girls after the inning we've go to want it and got to work for it," said Westminster coach Kathy Hodgkins. "It's always a sweet win when you go up against North Carroll."

A two-run single by Gina Hughes highlighted the Owls' big sixth inning. North Carroll sophomore pitcher Kandi Lippy struggled to find the strike zone in the inning, walking five r batters -- two intentionally. Two North Carroll errors also aided Westminster.

"Basically, we just didn't play North Carroll softball," said Bonnell. "We made some costly mistakes in the field, swung at some bad pitches, and you can't do that against a good team. If you don't play well, it's going to cost you."

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead in the second when designated hitter Lauren Kadlubowski led off with a single up the middle, took second on a sacrifice bunt by Lippy and scored on a single past shortstop by Jenny Rongione.

The Owls answered with two runs in their half of the second to take a 2-1 lead. It started with two outs in the inning. Kadlubowski walked, moved to third on a double by Sherri Schmitz and both came in after three straight walks by Lippy.

"Kandi is a super pitcher and did a great job," Bonnell said. "She had one of those days that every pitcher has where she just had some control problems."

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