Centennial's May hurls past Atholton, 3-2, despite off-day

May 10, 1994|By Chuck Acquisto | Chuck Acquisto,Special to The Sun

All-County Centennial senior pitcher Kim May managed to end up on the winning side yesterday -- though it was not one of her better days -- as the Eagles beat Atholton, 3-2.

In fact Atholton junior pitcher Kim Ruprecht had a better outing: eight strikeouts to May's seven, allowing one earned run to May's two, and giving up three hits to May's four.

Centennial (14-2, 10-1) will play at Glenelg (12-2, 8-1) today for first place in the county, picking up the suspended game with the Gladiators leading 1-0 in the top of the fourth.

Perhaps today's pitching jam against Glenelg weighed heavily on May's mind while facing an Atholton team hitting well over .300.

"It wasn't one of my better games and I could tell in warm-ups that I wasn't totally on," said May, who did strand three Atholton runners at third base.

Down 3-1 at the top of the seventh, Atholton rallied by getting the tying run to second and the winning run on first.

With one out in the seventh, Raiders sophomore and No. 9 hitter Eileen McQueeney drew a walk. Atholton leadoff batter Chrissy Gavin hit a hard drive to May, whose throw to second baseman Jeanine Lee for a possible force out was high, pulling Lee off the bag.

After striking out Atholton senior second baseman Stacey Williams for the second out, May allowed an RBI single to senior outfielder Lisa Murphy (2-for-4) that scored McQueeney from second.

"Bottom line is we did what we had to do in that last inning," said Atholton coach Dave Vitigliano. "We got two runners, including our fastest in Chrissy Gavin at second, with Kelly Stewart at the plate."

Stewart, who in the sixth had led off with a double over the head of Centennial right fielder Kelly West, got a pitch to hit and lifted a high fly ball to right again. Only that time Centennial coach Dale Huting had positioned the junior West a few steps back, giving the Eagle outfielder a perfect chance to catch the ball for the final out.

"Five feet one way or the other and we at least tie the game," he said.

While Atholton stranded a total of seven runners, with four left in scoring position, Centennial abandoned nine runners on base.

Things started going Centennial's way early. They took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with an unearned run off Ruprecht.

Eagle shortstop Terri Bickerton -- who in the top half of the inning had atoned for a fielding blunder by getting Stewart for the final out -- reached on a Raider infield error. Eagle senior Kathy Gallagher singled home the only earned run off Ruprecht.

Centennial scored its two other runs off Ruprecht in the second and third, both on wild pitches.

"This loss was very frustrating, although not as tough as the losses to Glenelg and this team the first time we played them," said Ruprecht.

After the third inning, Ruprecht allowed one hit, walked one and had two reach base on fielding errors.

May (14-2) stranded an Atholton runner on third in the first inning and left the bases full in the second by getting Gavin to ground out to Bickerton. She helped her cause in the third inning with her glove. After Murphy singled with one out for the Raiders, May caught a shot that Stewart drilled up the middle. Murphy, running on the pitch, was easily doubled-up to end the inning.

"That was self-defense," May joked later. "I just kind of brought my glove up quickly to protect my teeth."

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