Owings Mills squeezes past Franklin in 7th, 1-0 Winik steals two bases before Kraus bunts her in

April 20, 1996|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Owings Mills squeezed out another one.

The Eagles, who have shown a penchant for winning close games, once again demonstrated their resourcefulness in yesterday's 1-0 victory over visiting Franklin.

After being shut down on just one hit through six innings by Franklin pitcher Kara Wingate, Owings Mills manufactured the game-winning run in the seventh on Nikki Winik's leadoff walk, her steal of second and third and a successful squeeze play by Kim Kraus.

Earlier, the Eagles had pulled off a triple play to escape a bases-loaded, no-out jam.

"We've had a couple of nail-biters, but this one tops it because Kara overpowered us. We were overmatched, but we were able to come through in the clutch," Owings Mills coach Lisa Meyer said.

With the victory, No. 7 Owings Mills (8-0, 6-0) maintains sole possession of first place in Baltimore County Division I. The eighth-ranked Indians fell to 5-2 (overall and league record).

Wingate, who struck out nine, had a no-hitter for 5 2/3 innings before Kim Metzger singled on a blooper to right field. At one point, she had retired 17 consecutive batters.

Leading off the bottom of the seventh, Winik fell behind 0-2 in the count before drawing the only walk Wingate would allow.

"As the game went on, the umpire's strike zone shrunk, so I figured I could take a few pitches unless it was right down the middle," said Winik, the Eagles' catcher.

Knowing that Franklin catcher Jessie McGraw was playing with two broken fingers on her throwing hand, Winik wasted little time in stealing second and third.

Kraus then laid down the squeeze, pushing the ball past Wingate and third baseman Jaala Palmer as Winik sprinted home.

While the Eagles celebrated, the Indians stood stunned in the field, as if they didn't realize the game was over.

Owings Mills pitcher Alison Kleiner -- who notched her third straight no-hitter on Monday -- wasn't as overpowering as

Wingate, but was only in trouble once.

Franklin loaded the bases on three consecutive singles -- two of which were infield hits -- to lead off the third. Wingate, the Indians' No. 3 hitter, then hit a fly ball to shallow left field. Metzger made the catch and Corinne Whitehead tagged up from third.

Metzger fired the ball to Winik, who tagged out Whitehead at the plate for the second out, and then Winik threw to third baseman Melissa Josephson to retire Melissa Wenderoth, who was tagging up, to complete the triple play.

Pub Date: 4/20/96

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