Glenelg no match for N. Carroll

May 23, 1993|By Michael Richman | Michael Richman,Contributing Writer

North Carroll's softball team took the Class 2A, Region I championship in machine-like fashion.

Yesterday against host and No. 7 Glenelg, the Panthers banged out 20 hits in a decisive 19-7 victory.

Unlike the Panthers' 2-1 win over the Gladiators three weeks ago, in which they had three hits, nine batters connected this time. Junior Jenny Baker led the way with a 4-for-4 performance. Sophomores Jill Ballard and Jen Rongione each had three hits, and four batters hit twice.

The win qualifies North Carroll (13-6) for the state tournament beginning Tuesday at Randazzo Park in Glen Burnie.

"I just wanted to win. I don't care if it's one run or 10 runs," North Carroll coach Phil Bonnell said. "It's a win and we'll take it."

The loss was a first for fifth-year Glenelg coach Chuck Struhar, who admitted never experiencing a pounding such as North Carroll applied. The Panthers "hammered" the ball all game, he said, ending the Gladiators' season at 15-6.

"I've been coaching a long time and I've never seen anyone consistently hit the ball down the lineup like they did," Struhar said. "We have never, that just doesn't happen to us. They just hit the ball and hit the ball and hit the ball, and there was nothing else we could do."

North Carroll jumped on Glenelg ace starter Lyndsay Smyth -- who carried a 2.2 ERA before the game -- in the second inning. Behind 2-0, the Panthers scored 10 runs on seven hits and batted 15 players. Seven players drove in runs, and Ballard doubled home Liz Piper, Teresa Mays and Michelle Jeffery for a )) 7-2 edge.

The Gladiators committed three errors in the inning, totaling eight overall.

After North Carroll starter Kandi Lippy, who went the distance and allowed seven hits, retired the side in the bottom of the second, Struhar replaced Smyth with Kessler on the mound. The Panthers, though, were almost as relentless against the harder thrower of the two, scoring four runs on five hits for a 14-2 cushion.

Bonnell began setting in after the second inning.

"We felt good, but we still had to hang tough for five more innings," he said. "It was definitely a boost for us, and then when we came back in the third and scored four more. That was a definite boost in our confidence and it was great to be in that position."

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