Kitchen warms to task, sparks Arundel victory

April 18, 1996|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Arundel pitcher Kara Kitchen struggled to get loose in yesterday's blustery conditions, even allowing her first earned run of the season when visiting Old Mill scored once on two hits in the first inning.

But she quickly settled down and gave up only one more hit to finish with a three-hitter. Kitchen also helped at the plate with a two-run single that broke a sixth-inning tie and gave No. 2 Arundel a 3-1 victory over No. 12 Old Mill.

Old Mill (5-4, 3-4) took a 1-0 lead when pitcher Jenn Bernard singled, stole second and scored on Dawn Faulkner's two-out single. Kitchen (7-1) had pitched 42 innings this season without allowing an earned run.

But Arundel (9-1, 6-0) tied it one inning later when Kitchen (2-for-3) tripled and scored on an error. And on the mound, Kitchen slowly found her rhythm. After the first inning, the right-hander moved the ball around strongly and allowed only one hit.

"I think my arm was cold [early]," said Kitchen. "I wasn't throwing as hard. My accuracy wasn't very good."

For Old Mill, Bernard's accuracy stayed strong the entire game. She allowed four hits -- and only three balls out of the infield, including just one in the two-run sixth. That rally started when Ruth Wilson led off by dropping a perfect bunt down the third-base line. Wilson then stole second.

Shannon Noon then bounced one back to Bernard. The pitcher trapped Wilson between second and third and forced a long run-down, but a wild throw eventually let the Arundel center fielder take third and Noon second.

Kitchen then lined Bernard's first pitch to right-center, scoring Wilson and Noon for the 3-1 lead. Kitchen breezed through the seventh to seal the victory.

"She got stronger as the game went on," said Arundel coach Paul Yannuzzi. "Kara was a real pitcher today."

Pub Date: 4/18/96

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