Northeast finds charm, beats Old Mill Second-ranked Eagles solve Bernard in 5-2 win

March 28, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

:TC When the Northeast Eagles began raining seeing-eye singles through the Old Mill infield yesterday on the way to a 5-2 victory, Old Mill pitcher Jen Bernard couldn't help shaking her head in disbelief.

Was the force with Northeast?

Was there some kind of divine intervention on behalf of the Eagles?

Or were they just that lucky?

Northeast pitchers Stacy Smith and Lisa Gordon had the answer.

"It's our lucky penny," they said in unison. "Last year, we had a couple of lucky rocks, and now it's a penny that our assistant coach Mary Frashure found on this Old Mill field Wednesday before our game was rained out."

Smith and Gordon said they hoped to hold on to the penny all season without losing it.

"We lost a couple of rocks last year but still made it to the Class 2A state finals," said the two, who combined to shut down host Old Mill yesterday on three hits, seven strikeouts, one walk and no earned runs. "This year, we each plan to keep the penny in our pockets when we're pitching and keep it with the team equipment when we're not playing games."

At least six of the 11 Northeast hits off All-Metro first-teamer Bernard yesterday were bloopers that just eluded the gloves of infielders.

The last two bloopers came in a two-run Northeast seventh inning when Amanda Shifflett and Renee Mrowczynski dropped hits in open spaces in the infield.

By that time, Smith and Gordon were gripping the penny even tighter, and Bernard knew it wasn't her day.

Smith, a sophomore, went the first four innings for No. 2 Northeast (2-0) to pick up the win against sixth-ranked Old Mill (1-2).

Smith gave up two hits, two unearned runs in the fourth inning, struck out four, walked one and hit a batter.

Smith also slammed a bases-empty homer to center in the third inning to give Northeast a 3-0 lead.

Gordon, a senior, came on in the fifth and faced only 10 batters over the last three innings. She allowed one hit, struck out three and didn't give up any runs.

Northeast catcher Shelly Guy had given the visitors a 2-0 lead in the first with a two-run line-drive double to left, and the final two Eagles' runs scored in the seventh on an error and a wild pitch that followed the two bloopers.

"We pitched and hit well," said Northeast coach Lynn Pitonzo who returns to coach the Eagles after a four-year absence. "I'm not superstitious, so I don't believe in lucky rocks or pennies. But I do know we're working hard, and I'm still learning about my team."

Pub Date: 3/28/97

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