Glenelg looks to make title all its own

May 17, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

Glenelg softball fans were buzzing yesterday about where the No. 8 Gladiators might play their first-round regional playoff game on Thursday.

But the Gladiators weren't thinking that far ahead. They still have a little more business to wrap up closer to home.

Yesterday's 19-2 six-inning romp over host Howard clinched at RTC least a tie for the Howard County championship. This afternoon, the Gladiators (17-2 overall, 12-1 league) can win the title outright with a victory over Hammond, a team they beat, 10-0, earlier in the season.

The Gladiators do not want to share the title.

"It makes a big difference," said outfielder Kim Brown. "We just want to prove that we deserve it and that we deserve to be ahead of Centennial in the rankings."

Although the Gladiators have beaten Centennial twice, the Eagles remain ranked higher at No. 7. The Eagles, with two league losses , would share the title with the Gladiators if Hammond can pull off the upset this afternoon.

Glenelg coach Chuck Struhar didn't want to dismiss the possibility of an upset even though the Gladiators handily defeated Howard and Hammond this season. Warming up at Howard (2-15, 2-11) in a blustery wind yesterday, Struhar stressed to the Gladiators that the Lions were capable of beating them.

"Did you see what these guys did to Atholton? They scored 11 runs on them in two innings," said Struhar of Friday's game that Atholton went on to win, 29-13. "They can hit the ball, and in this wind, the ball's flying all over the place. You don't know what's going to happen."

What did happen went all Glenelg's way behind another steady performance from Emily Kessler, who gave up six hits, struck out five and walked just one. The Gladiators played solid defense, got a few timely hits and took advantage of all the openings the Lions gave them.

At least seven Gladiators came to the plate in every inning but one. They had nine hits but only one extra-base hit -- Jodi Kielman's RBI double in the fourth.

The Gladiators scored in every inning but the third. They rolled up seven runs in the sixth on consecutive singles by Lauren Doyle, Brown and Kielman, three walks and Karyn Duff's sacrifice fly.

When the Lions couldn't score in their half of the inning, the game ended because of the county's 15-run rule.

The Lions' best effort came from center fielder Emily Moore, who hit a pair of singles, stole two bases and scored both runs.

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