Freshman pitches Owings Mills to title, 11-1

May 22, 1994|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

Owings Mills freshman pitcher Allison Kleiner has started the Baltimore County championship game and regional semifinal game, and she even beat Sparrows Point by 10 runs earlier this season. But she came into the regional final more nervous than ever.

"I think it was because it was the regional finals," Kleiner said. "I had never been in this position before in my life. I also didn't have my good stuff today. I tried not to let all that get to me too much and go out there and pitch."

Kleiner allowed just one run on five hits, while shaking her fears to set down 13 of the final 16 batters to pitch top-seeded Owings Mills to an 11-1 victory over third-seeded and visiting Sparrows -- Point in the 1A South Region final. The Eagles travel to Randazzo Park for the state semifinals Tuesday.

Her nervousness appeared early as she struggled through the first three innings, allowing three extra-base hits. In the second, she gave up a leadoff triple to Belinda Fisher, who scored on a double by Tiffany Otremba. One inning later, Kleiner had runners at first and second with one out, but she struck out the next two batters.

Kleiner had 12 strikeouts, including four of the last five batters she faced. She has a 2-0 record with a .75 earned-run average in postseason, and has struck out 25 in 12 innings. Kleiner's fastball, even not at full velocity, showed its effects as the Pointers kept moving back in the batter's box.

Last year, Owings Mills made the state semifinals on the pitching of veteran Jen Ziomek. The senior, who is 6-0 this year, has been relegated to pinch hitting since being diagnosed with spinal meningitis two weeks ago.

Owings Mills coach Lisa Meyer said Ziomek would have started if healthy yesterday, but said she had no fears of putting the pressure of a regional final on a freshman.

"Allison is not your typical high school freshman," Meyer said of Kleiner, who was 10-2 during the regular season. "She's pitched for years and has been on traveling teams, so I knew she could do the job."

Kleiner, the leadoff hitter, also led a balanced offensive attack with two RBIs against Sparrows Point starter Tammy Hudson, who surrendered all 11 runs on eight hits. The Eagles had six players drive in runs, and seven with hits.

Leading 2-1 in the third, the Eagles broke the game open with three runs, all with two outs. Owings Mills sealed the victory with a five-run, four-hit sixth inning that sent 10 Eagles to the plate.

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