Northern-Calvert pummels Severna Park, 15-4 State champions benefit from injury to Falcons ace

March 25, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

It was a no-go for Severna Park's fireballing sophomore right-hander Amanda Donaldson yesterday and the Falcons were no match for three-time defending Class 4A state softball champion Northern-Calvert.

Donaldson couldn't pitch due to a lingering case of tendinitis, making life easy for Northern, which zipped off its 69th straight victory over three seasons by a 15-4 margin at Severna Park.

Donaldson had been looking forward to pitching against the vaunted Patriots all winter and tried to convince her doctor she was ready for the mound.

But the doctor said it was too risky for the youngster to pitch and first-year Severna Park coach Wayne McAlister went with changeup artist Joni Prim, hoping to throw the hard-hitting Patriots off balance.

Donaldson also couldn't pitch in the season opener Saturday on the road against Robinson (Va.) when the Falcons lost, 12-3.

Prim hung in there until the fifth inning when Northern (2-0) erupted for nine runs for a 13-0 lead, more than enough cushion for Patriots coach Mike Johnson to pull ace starting pitcher Candice Rice in the fifth.

Rice, a junior, ran her unbeaten career record at Northern to 25-0. She shut out the Falcons (0-2) on three hits, no walks and struck out five in four innings.

Two of the three hits off Rice were singles by Donaldson, who played first base yesterday and went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer in the fifth off reliever Candace Ripple.

Northern pounded out 14 hits off Prim, including three triples, and took advantage of eight Severna Park errors.

Andrea Kriner led the Northern hit parade with a 4-for-5 afternoon and one RBI. Beth Radford was 3-for-5 with three RBIs, and Kristen Costa went 3-for-5 with one RBI. Johnson said his Northern team was geared up to face Donaldson, who pitched in the shadow of Christy Huber last season but still managed to go 7-2 with a 1.98 ERA, 63 strikeouts and only eight walks.

"We were shocked when Amanda didn't pitch," said Johnson. "I feel sorry for her because she is such a competitor and really wanted to be out there. Obviously, it didn't affect her hitting."

McAlister said, "When I received the note from her doctor, there was no way I was going to pitch Amanda. I've known her too long and would never want to hurt her. Obviously, we're not the same team without her."

Pub Date: 3/25/97

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