Perry Hall moves on to final by defeating Roosevelt, 7-2

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

Perry Hall's path to the state championship game continues to be anything but routine.

In last night's Class 4A state semifinal at Randazzo Park, power from two unlikely sources helped the fourth-seeded Gators to a 7-2 victory over top-seeded Eleanor Roosevelt (17-2) from Prince George's County.

Perry Hall (14-3) will meet Northern-Calvert, a 13-0 winner over Churchill, in the championship game Friday at Randazzo Park at 8:30 p.m.

The Gators, making their first appearance in the state semifinals since 1989, are seeking their first state title since 1979.

Junior Danielle Dawson and freshman Lauren Tanner, the eighth and ninth batters in Perry Hall's lineup, hit home runs last night.

Going into the game, Dawson and Tanner were hitting .205 and .222, respectively, with no home runs.

"Our eighth hitter has been swinging for the fences all year, and our ninth hitter just didn't have confidence because she has never seen fast pitching before this year," said Perry Hall coach Emily Thon, who is in her 29th season.

"We were trying to get Dawson to just meet the ball, and that's what she did. After she hit the home run, she came up to me and said, 'I wasn't swinging for the fence,' and I said, 'I know you weren't.' It was nice to see those two come through."

Even before last night, however, the extraordinary and the bizarre had become the norm for the Gators in the playoffs.

First, there was Perry Hall's win over Western in the regional semifinals in which the Gators scored 21 runs on four hits.

Then, in a 2-1 victory over Dulaney in the region final, the Gators scored the tying and go-ahead runs on a single that was supposed to have been a suicide squeeze.

"It seems like we're peaking at the right time," Thon said. "They were really psyched for this game. And they really believe they can win."

Senior Beckie Baker pitched a six-hitter for Perry Hall and went 2-for-4. Stefanie Koman and Tanner had two hits apiece for the Gators.

Perry Hall took command with a five-run second inning, highlighted by Dawson's two-run homer to left-center field that put the Gators ahead 3-1.

Two Roosevelt errors led to three more runs for Perry Hall in the inning.

Roosevelt, ranked 10th in the Washington area, cut its deficit to 6-2 on Jenny Mahon's home run in the third.

But Tanner answered with a lead-off home run for Perry Hall in the fourth to stretch the lead to 7-2.

Perry Hall had taken a 1-0 lead in the first. After Koman and Jessica Loehr singled, Baker's groundout to second scored Koman.

The Raiders answered with an unearned run in the bottom of the inning.

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