Atholton edges Glenelg, 5-4, in the seventh inning

May 20, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

Chrissy Gavin was the last person No. 8 Glenelg wanted to put on base with the game on the line.

But in the top of the seventh inning with the game tied at 4, the Atholton shortstop reached when first baseman Jodi Kielman pulled her foot off the bag taking the throw from third baseman Diana Rolfs.

"That play was it," said Glenelg coach Chuck Struhar. "Chrissy's so fast she's going to steal second and third, and then you've got a man on third and one out."

From third, Gavin scored on Lisa Murphy's sacrifice fly to give No. 9 Atholton a 5-4 win yesterday in a Class 2A South regional semifinal. The third-seeded Raiders (15-6) advance to tomorrow's regional final against the winner of yesterday's game between top-seeded Surrattsville and fourth-seeded Fairmont Heights.

After the Raiders took the 5-4 lead, their ace Kim Ruprecht threw some of her best pitches to retire the final three Gladiators in order. Murphy bagged Kim Brown's high fly ball to center for the final out.

"The ump was giving us the inside corner, so I used that to our advantage," said Ruprecht. "And I didn't want Jodi coming up again."

Kielman, who blasted a two-run homer over the fence in her last at-bat, stood on deck as Brown flied out.

The Howard County champions Gladiators (18-3) needed Kielman's home run, her sixth of the season, to tie the game at 4 in the bottom of the fifth inning. After that, the Gladiators couldn't get anyone else on base. Ruprecht retired the final eight batters.

Three of this season's four meetings between the two have been decided by one run. Glenelg won 5-0 in an early-season tournament and 3-2 at Atholton. In between, the Raiders won 4-3 at Glenelg.

"I figured this would be a one-run game," said Raiders coach Dave Vitagliano, whose team fell to Centennial last year in the Class 3A regional final. "It was a higher scoring game than I thought. Glenelg is always tough. Emily [Kessler] throws strikes and throws hard, and they don't make many mistakes."

However, the Gladiators made the only error of the game and it cost them a run. With Raiders on second and third, Kelly Stewart flied out to left fielder Lauren Doyle. Doyle apparently broke her finger on the catch and overthrew second base, allowing Stacey Williams to score from third.

"We had to make a couple plays we didn't make, and that was one of them," said Struhar. "There were some extenuating circumstances, but the ball was thrown over second base and that's a tough play."

Before the error, Gavin (3-4, three runs scored) doubled and scored on Williams' single to left.

Atholton had the Gladiators playing catch-up when Ruprecht's sacrifice fly scored Gavin from third in the first inning.

The Gladiators pulled ahead 2-1 after runs scored on Jessie Lombardo's perfect bunt single and Karyn Duff's infield single.

Kessler, who allowed just four hits, walked two and struck out four, retired nine straight Raiders until walking Ruprecht in the fourth inning. Pinch runner Mandy Robins moved to third on Stacie Vollentine's single and later scored on a fielder's choice.

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