Harford softball race hot, and Bel Air may be hottest

April 26, 1996|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

With four league games remaining for most teams, the race for the Harford County softball title should be one of the most hotly contested around.

Bel Air, however, may have a leg up on the competition after Monday's come-from-behind 3-2 win over C. Milton Wright.

The Bobcats (8-2 after yesterday's 3-2 loss to Elkton) remain tied for first place with defending champ John Carroll at 4-0 in the league. They are the first to have beaten one of the other contenders in league play. They also have beaten John Carroll, but their next meeting counts as the league game.

Since those three were expected to contend along with Fallston for the title, the win over the ninth-ranked Mustangs was huge.

Going into their half of the sixth inning, the Bobcats trailed 2-1. Jackie Hinson led off with a single, and two outs later, Kelly Krieger hit another one. With runners on first and second, the Mustangs dropped back-to-back fly balls from Colleen Keith and Kellie Flynn allowing the two runners to score.

Jody Leftwich got the win. The junior has pitched every inning of every game and has a 1.53 ERA with 95 strikeouts in 55 innings.

While Bobcats coach Val Cooper said Leftwich is a key to their success, she's not the only one. "One of the reasons we're so successful is that there's not one person carrying the load. If you have that one person and she has a bad day, you're sunk. Jody's been pitching well, but we've also had good defense and good hitting."

Among the hitting leaders are Hinson (.429, 14 RBIs), Becky Fox (.321, 12 RBIs) and Lynn Wilkinson (.346, eight stolen bases).

"I'm really pleased," said Cooper. "But I tell them to take nothing for granted. No team is unbeatable. We get one loss and all of a sudden, there's a three-way tie [for the county league lead]."

All of a sudden. . .

C. Milton Wright coach Joe Dunch knows all about how quickly a softball team can hit the skids.

The Mustangs had been cruising along at 7-1 until they met Bel Air Monday afternoon. "It's hard to say what happened," said Dunch. "Prior to that, we had considered defense and pitching to be our strong suits, but [Leftwich] was a very frustrating pitcher. She had a rising fastball and a lot of the girls were swinging at air."

Wednesday, the Mustangs (8-2, 2-1 league) bounced back as Melanie Siler threw her second no-hitter of the season to beat Aberdeen, 29-0. The sophomore has posted some impressive stats with a 0.54 ERA as well as 75 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 65 innings.

Run production has been no problem. The Mustangs have outscored the opposition, 94-10, led by Heather Ruleau (.333, 16 RBIs), Angie Sherman (.393, 14 RBIs) and Stacie Konrad (.440, 11 RBIs).

Pub Date: 4/26/96

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