Panthers overpower Owls, 8-4

April 09, 1994|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,Sun Staff Writer

It was the Westminster Owls who were supposed to have all the offensive firepower this season in Carroll County. But nobody told that to the North Carroll Panthers.

The visiting Panthers took a quick 5-0 lead and then let their pitching and defense -- something they are better known for -- do the rest in an 8-4 victory over defending county softball champ Westminster yesterday in Gamber.

The Panthers (3-2 overall, 2-0 in the county) pounded out 16 hits, got clutch defense and some strong pitching from Kandi Lippy to hold off Westminster.

Three insurance runs in the seventh preserved the win for the Panthers.

"We played very well," said Panthers first-year coach Rich Harvey.

"We got on top early and then our defense held together well. Kandi had another solid day, she was really pumped up from the start."

North Carroll took a 2-0 lead in the first on run-scoring singles by Melissa Wilfong and Lippy.

The Panthers added three in the second on five hits to take a 5-0 lead. Laura Watson started the rally with a single and Kathleen Tunney followed with a double. Watson scored on Barbi Jackson's sacrifice fly to make it 3-0. Center fielder Amber Bosley, who went 4-for-5 on the day, doubled to score Tunney and then scored on Christina Crouse's infield single.

The Owls (2-2, 1-1) came back with one run in the second and two more in the third, but couldn't get the big hit to break through.

It was 5-2 in the third when Westminster shortstop Gina Hughes walked with the bases loaded to force in a run and cut the Panthers' lead to two, but Lippy got Beth Lister on a called third strike to end the inning.

"I don't know what's going on with our hitting, we did fine against Linganore on Monday and their pitcher was faster [than Lippy], but we just couldn't get around on anything today," said Westminster coach Kathy Hodgkins.

The Owls put runners on base in each of the next three innings, but couldn't get any runs.

North Carroll added three insurance runs in the seventh with Casey Rhoten's run-scoring triple the big hit. She later scored on Teresa Mays' sacrifice fly. Bosley then singled, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on an improperly executed rundown.

It was the Owls who last year ended North Carroll's three-year reign as champs. With yesterday's win, the Panthers got an early edge in reclaiming the title.

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