Northern pitcher no-hits Perry Hall

May 28, 1994|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Sun

Northern of Calvert coach Mike Johnson calls Kelly Shipman a "once in a lifetime" pitcher.

Last night in the Class 4A state championship game at Randazzo Park in Severn, fourth-seeded Perry Hall found out why.

The junior windmiller tossed a no-hitter, striking out 16, and the Patriots' potent lineup did the rest en route to a 10-0 victory, giving third-seeded Northern its first-ever state title.

It was her sixth no-hitter of the season, and her second straight.

She became the only pitcher in state playoff history to throw back-to-back no-hitters in the semifinals and finals.

Shipman -- who entered the game 11-0 with a 0.36 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 77 innings -- used her overpowering fastball to throttle Gators hitters all night.

"I threw the riseball whenever I had more than one strike," said Shipman. "They were swinging at it, so I kept throwing it. I just threw my game."

The closest thing to a hit for Perry Hall came in the first inning when Stephanie Koman reached base on an error.

After a slow grounder to second, Patriots first baseman Heather Travers dropped a routine throw from Christine Dudley that would have had Koman by half a step.

"This is the best pitcher we've faced this season," said Perry Hall coach Emily Thon.

"Most of my kids only played slow-pitch before high school, so it makes it hard."

Northern's offense, which had outscored opponents, 249-14, entering the game, then gave Shipman plenty of support, scoring six runs in the first inning to break the game wide open.

The Patriots batted 12 in the inning, with the big blows coming on Taryn McDonald's two-run homer to the gap in left-center and Shannon Brigham's two-run single to center.

Ten of their first 11 batters reached base against Perry Hall starter Beckie Baker.

Northern, which defeated four-time defending state champion Chesapeake-AA in the regional finals, then extended its lead to 10-0 in the third, scoring four more, including two on Sarah Colea's two-run homer to center.

Shipman then completed her no-hitter by striking out nine of the final 12, including the last five in a row.

Thon said the pitcher's performance wasn't a surprise.

She said she got a glimpse of the hurler by looking through the fence Tuesday night while her team was defeating Eleanor Roosevelt, 7-2.

"I saw her throw a couple pitches. . . while our game going on," said Thon, "so I knew we had our work cut out for us."

Thon took heart in the fact that Northern scored all of its runs in two innings, and that her team didn't fall apart.

Baker allowed two hits and no runs in the final three innings.

"We only had two bad innings," Thon said. "Beckie didn't quit. She has a tendency sometimes if they start hitting her to get down, but she held up well."

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