Glen Burnie lays it on South River, 6-3 No. 5 Gophers' bunting pays off with 5-run first

April 12, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

The Glen Burnie Gophers discovered again yesterday why they have to endure lengthy bunting sessions every day in practice.

The fifth-ranked Gophers just don't hit enough to get by without several successful bunts in every game, and it was the same story yesterday in a 6-3 victory over eighth-ranked South River in Edgewater.

Glen Burnie bunted, blooped and walked its way to five runs in the first inning. Then pitchers Michelle Whelan and Jen Zabetakis successfully knocked down enough of several vicious South River line drives back to the mound the rest of the game to hold off the rallying Seahawks.

In all, Glen Burnie (6-2 overall, 4-1 in the North Division) laid down two bunts that went for hits and three more sacrifice bunts that resulted in errors for the home team.

The Gophers pushed across all their runs after Bonnie Nevin's sacrifice bunt -- with runners on first and second and nobody out -- was thrown past first for an error.

That error scored the first Glen Burnie run, two straight walks forced in a second run, a bloop single to right by Jamie Dotson drove in the third and fourth runs and the fifth run crossed the plate when Jennifer Lanham grounded into a 1-3-5 double play.

Adding to the South River (7-2, 4-1 in the South Division) frustration was the fact that all the first-inning trouble began on a soft liner to third by Whelan that barely eluded April Dove's outstretched glove and an infield single to deep short by Jessica Willis.

The total Glen Burnie "attack" for the afternoon added up to seven hits and looked like this: two bunt singles, the bleeder past third to open the game, the two-run bloop to right, the infield hit to shortstop and two short singles.

"We still need a lot of work on our hitting," said Whelan, who was 2-for-4 and pitched the first six innings to improve to 4-0. "We just haven't hit well all season. It's a good thing we got all those breaks in the first inning because we didn't do much after that."

Whelan gave up eight South River singles, struck out four, walked two and allowed two earned runs through the first six innings before Zabetakis came on.

"I'm a low-ball pitcher and wasn't getting the low balls called for strikes today," said Whelan. "So I had to pitch the ball higher, and they were driving the ball back at me. I thought he [coach Bob Broccolino] might take me out sooner."

Broccolino said he went to Zabetakis, who is a high-ball pitcher, to "give South River a different look" in the sixth.

"But they still hit some good shots back at Jen," said Broccolino. "South River proved they can hit."

Losing South River pitcher Jen O'Neill went all the way, striking out one and walking two -- both in the first inning. The senior right-hander also went 2-for-4 at the plate with one RBI.

Freshman South River left fielder Mandy Kessinger went 3-for-4 with an RBI.

Pub Date: 4/12/97

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