Owings Mills rallies by Key, 5-3 Softball

May 21, 1993|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Staff Writer

Junior pitcher Amber Smith and third-seeded Francis Scott Key were cruising along with a 3-1 lead in their Class 1A, Region II softball semifinal against second-seeded Owings Mills yesterday when disaster struck in the sixth inning.

That's when host Owings Mills (12-7) scored four runs without hitting a ball out of the infield en route a 5-3 win and a spot in the region final.

It started with one out in the inning. Smith, who at one point retired 10 straight batters and didn't allow a walk all game, had trouble finding the strike zone and walked the bases loaded.

Owings Mills got within one when Sheree Tilley, Owings Mills' ninth hitter, followed with a grounder to first baseman Kitty Roop, who threw home late.

The other three runs came after Smith struck out Allie Coufal. Julia Moretti hit a dribbler down the third-base line that Missy Muller couldn't field.

Nicole Winik followed with a weak grounder to third that Muller got to, but she threw high to first. The throw got away from Roop and the go-ahead and insurance runs scored.

"We had the opportunities to make the plays and just didn't," said Key coach Joe Linthicum.

"I thought we were in pretty good shape up 3-1 and five outs away, but it ended up to be a nightmarish inning."

Muller, a sophomore, came in for senior Tina Smith at third when Smith injured her left ankle in the bottom of the fifth. She made two solid plays before the errant throw.

She's young and will be a major part of our program in the years to come," Linthicum said. "She made some really nice plays and then maybe thought a little too much on that last one."

Key (8-11) entered the game averaging nine runs, and host Owings Mills' Nos. 3 and 4 hitters combined to drive in 61 runs, so a high-scoring game seemed likely.

But it never happened, largely because of some solid pitching by Owings Mills' Jen Ziomek and Amber Smith, along with some solid defense behind them.

Key, leading 2-0 in the third, had a chance to break it wide open with runners on first and second, but Coufal snared Roop's liner at shortstop.

The next inning, Ziomek made a nice play on a come-backer off the bat of Juli LeBrun with two more Key runners on base.

"We had a chance to break it open a couple of times and they made some big plays," Linthicum said.

Key got on the board with one in the first. Shelley Smith led off the game with a walk and scored two outs later on Damien Overholser's liner off the glove of Michelle Arevelo.

They added another in the third on LeBrun's single that scored Shelley Smith, who doubled to left.

Owings Mills got its first run in the fourth when Amber Smith and Roop converged on a Melody Stiffler' pop-up in front.

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