Winik's 2-run homer paces Eagles' 5-2 victory Owings Mills succeeds, Bel Air falls in semifinals

May 25, 1994|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,Contributing Writer

Not only had Owings Mills sophomore catcher Nikki Winik been in a hitting slump over the past few weeks, but the public address announcer mispronounced her last name three times yesterday.

After being announced incorrectly before her at-bat in the bottom of the sixth inning, she yelled the proper pronunciation of her name up to the announcer's booth.

She then hit a tie-breaking, two-run home run to lead the Eagles (19-3) to a 5-2 victory over fourth-seeded Mardela (12-9) from Wicomico County in a Class 1A state semifinal at Randazzo Park.

Freshman Alison Kleiner pitched a two-hitter for Owings Mills, which will meet Bohemia Manor, a 10-1 winner over Hancock, in the championship game at 6 p.m. Friday at Randazzo Park.

"I've been hitting terribly," said Winik. "I've only had one or two good hits in the past seven or eight games. My stance was messed up and I was just doing everything wrong."

Winik, whose average had dipped to .296, worked on her swing with assistant coach Pat Gochnauer during Monday's practice.

"He told me that instead of trying to think about everything, just to go up there and swing naturally and try and throw the bat at the ball," she said. "And that's exactly what I did, and it worked."

With the exception of the mix-up over her name, a lot worked for Winik yesterday. She went 2-for-3, scored two runs, stole two bases and threw out the only Mardela runner attempting to steal.

Winik single-handedly broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth. After a leadoff single to right, she stole second and third before scoring on Tanya Bennett's wild pitch.

Mardela took advantage of two Owings Mills errors in the sixth to pull even at 2-2.

After capitalizing on the Eagles' miscues, the Warriors relinquished the lead in the bottom of the inning by committing four errors.

Kleiner and Stefanie Meyerson reached safely on errors to start the inning.

After Kleiner was thrown out attempting to steal third, Winik followed with her first homer of the season, a shot over the left fielder's head that rolled to the fence.

Two more Mardela errors led to another unearned run.

Kleiner, who did not allow an earned run, retired the Warriors in order in the seventh to send the Eagles to the championship game. They had been eliminated in the semifinals by a combined score of 23-1 the past two seasons.

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