Mount Hebron edges Bobcats, 4-3, in 9th Owings Mills succeeds, Bel Air falls in semifinals

May 25, 1994|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Sun Staff Writer

Mount Hebron pushed across an unearned run in the top of the ninth inning and squeezed out a 4-3 victory over Bel Air in a Class 3A state semifinal at Randazzo Park last night.

Bel Air, top seeded for the four-team event, had rallied for three unearned runs in the fifth inning to tie the score.

There was a mild threat by Mount Hebron when it had a runner on second with one out in the eighth, but otherwise the sixth, seventh and eighth innings were uneventful. The ninth made up for it.

Two errors by the usually sure-handed Sherry Godbee at third base -- a throwing error and an error when the ball bounced off the heel of her glove -- were sandwiched around an out, with the second one allowing Kathy Kiersarsky to score the winning run.

Bel Air had one last gasp. Catcher Kelly Robbins, one of seven seniors in the Bobcats' starting lineup, lifted a fly ball over the head of the center fielder. When Heather Cole mishandled the pickup, Robbins -- urged on by the third base coach -- tried to stretch it into a triple and was thrown out on a great throw from Cole to Kristen Milio.

"We brought her," Bel Air coach Val Cooper said of the play. "You have to take chances and she wasn't out by much." Robbins, who threw out three would-be base stealers, added that, "Down a run, you take the chance."

The victory sends Mount Hebron (15-6) into Friday's final against Thomas Johnson, a 3-2 winner over McDonough. The loss ended a 16-game winning streak for Bel Air (19-2), in the state semifinals for the first time since 1979.

"We have played outstanding softball all season, and things are bound to catch up with you," said Cooper, in her eighth year as head coach. "We just weren't up to snuff; just too many errors [six]. We're usually the team putting pressure on the other team, but not this time. Still, this is the best team I've coached."

Amy Finlayson, 15-1 as a pitcher going into the game, starred at bat and afield. She had three of her side's five hits off Vikings pitcher Jenny Joyce, allowed five hits, struck out eight and walked two. She finished the year as the metro area leader in wins and strikeouts (186 in 131 innings).

In the Bobcats' fifth, after two errors, Jen Conway was safe on a sacrifice when Joyce could not make a play on Lynn Wilkinson coming home from third. Danielle Rohde scored from third when the catcher made a wild throw returning the ball to Joyce, and Conway scored the third run on an infield out.

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