Atholton hands Glenelg first loss

April 15, 1994|By Michael Richman | Michael Richman,Special to The Sun

Atholton's softball team beat host No. 8 Glenelg, 4-3, yesterday.

It reads like an upset, but Glenelg coach Chuck Struhar thinks otherwise.

"Atholton is the best team in [Howard] County, there's no doubt about it," he said. "They have the best talent. We, Centennial and Hebron are right near them."

In handing Glenelg its first loss, the Raiders (5-2, 3-1) had 10 hits and junior Kim Ruprecht, their starting pitcher in every game, allowed four hits and struck out four batters.

While Atholton led throughout, Ruprecht was threatened in the third, fourth, fifth and seventh innings. But the Gladiators (5-1, 2-1) left seven runners on base, four in scoring position.

With Atholton ahead 4-2, Karen Cadogan began Glenelg's final surge with a walk. Struhar put in pinch-runner Lauren Doyle, who reached second base on a passed ball.

Kim Brown flied out, and while Jessie Lombardo grounded out, Doyle went to third. Jody Kielman, Glenelg's top hitter with a .571 average, was hit by a pitch for the second time, putting runners on first and third.

While Kielman stole second, beating catcher Shannon Eierman's throw, Doyle scored to make it a one-run game. Ruprecht then forced Karyn Duff to ground out, as Atholton avenged a 5-0 loss to the Gladiators in its spring tournament.

Eierman's attempt to nail Kielman was risky, but Atholton coach Dave Ritagiono said it was right under the circumstances, expressing confidence in the freshman catcher's strong arm.

"If we give it to [Kielman], she's going to score on a single with two outs," he said. "So I had to take a shot at her. If they get a run, we're still up, 4-3. We've still got to get the hitter out."

The Raiders sent Glenelg senior pitcher Emily Kessler to her first loss. In the teams' first game, she allowed five hits and struck out eight batters. This time, she struck out four, and three of Atholton's 10 hits were infield singles.

Sophomore Chrissy Gavin was Atholton's offensive star, hitting three singles in four at-bats, and scoring twice. She scored in the first and third innings for a 2-0 Atholton lead.

Ruprecht, who had two hits and one RBI, retired the first eight batters before Doyle singled in the third.

The Raiders took a 3-0 edge in the fourth, as Eierman scored from third on Nikki Blankenship's double into deep right-center.

In the fifth, the Gladiators responded with Kielman's run, but Ruprecht stifled a threat with runners on second and third, forcing the final batter to fly out. The teams traded runs in the fifth, the final scoring until the last inning.

"I've mixed my pitches better before, but today it seemed like my fastball was on," Ruprecht said. "I could throw that and not worry about my off-speed pitches."

Struhar didn't think his team was flat, instead, praising the opposing pitcher.

"Kim Ruprecht is a really, really good pitcher and we did what we normally do against her," he said.

"We're going to score 3-4 runs against her, which we did, and I didn't think they'd score that many against us. We have to shut them out or keep them to one or two runs and we can win."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.