Bel Air tops Franklin, 6-1

May 22, 1994|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Sun Staff Writer

It hasn't been exactly a crusade, but senior-dominated Bel Air has had a long-range goal since last year of making the state softball tournament, and yesterday the Bobcats reached that level, marching past top-seeded Franklin (16-3), 6-1, in the 3A North regional championship game.

Pitcher Amy Finlayson, a 6-foot senior who owns all the decisions but four wins for the 19-1 victors, came through with a courageous performance, scattering seven hits and striking out 15, despite a badly swollen right ankle (her push-off foot) that had her in pain even before the game started.

"When you have wanted something this much forever, there was no way the pain was going to bother me," said Finlayson, a four-year regular. She had injured the ankle in a collision with first baseman Ashley Carter during a game 10 days ago.

Then, she came back last Wednesday with a three-hit, 10-strikeout effort in a 1-0 semifinal win over Dundalk.

"That was just an outstanding effort; you could tell she was hurting," Bel Air coach Val Cooper said of Finlayson. "She's a team player. She has worked too hard for four years not to be in there."

The state Class 3A semifinals will be played on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Randazzo Park in Anne Arundel County.

It will be Bel Air's first trip to the state tournament since the late 1970s.

Bel Air did all its scoring in two innings, getting four runs in the second when it bunched four of its six hits, and two more in the fifth without a hit. Franklin got its run in the fourth on a double steal, Cindy Coleman beating Danielle Rohde's throw in a close play at the plate.

Franklin pitcher Kara Wingate, one of three freshman starters for coach Rick Wiscott, deserved better. Except for the scoring innings, she faced the minimum of three batters in four of the remaining innings. She gave up six hits, a walk and struck out six.

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