S. River breaks up no-hit shutout, but Old Mill wins Patriots seal 3-2 game on long throw to plate

April 17, 1997|By Brant James | Brant James,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The striking part about the perfect game Old Mill pitcher Jen Bernard took in the sixth inning against South River yesterday was not that she had not allowed any hits or walks. It was that her team had not committed any errors.

The senior lost her no-hitter in the sixth and her shutout in the seventh, thanks to a typically costly Patriot error. But she escaped with a 3-2 win when center fielder Tracy Tobin threw out the tying run at the plate to end the game.

Catcher Jessica Dyer, who had injured her throwing hand against the backstop doggedly chasing a foul ball just minutes earlier, snared Tobin's throw up the third-base line and slapped a tag on April Dove to improve No. 6 Old Mill to 7-4 and drop the No. 8 Seahawks to 8-3.

"I knew I could get her," Tobin said. "I was just thinking I hoped Jess could hold on."

South River cut Bernard's lead to 3-1 with two outs in the seventh, when shortstop Jessica Howell muffed Dove's grounder, allowing Jen O'Neill to score from second base. O'Neill had reached on a wind-blown single to right and taken second on a fielder's choice.

"We were kind of looking for a break to that point," South River coach Steve Rose said. "[Bernard] was kind of wearing us out."

Melissa Stallings then ripped a RBI single to left, scoring Mandy Kessinger, whose fielder's choice had advanced O'Neill, and moving Dove to second.

Shawnte Campbell, who had struck out her two previous at-bats, then flared a single into shallow left-center, but Tobin made a clean pick-up and throw home to preserve the win.

"The errors always hurt us," said Patriots coach Lori Darnall. "That's the book on us. That whole inning started with errors."

Bernard, who admitted she had been thinking about the perfect game, said she again let errors affect her concentration.

"Errors always frustrate me," she said. "It's a weakness because then I try to overpower everybody and don't pitch. I need to mellow out." Bernard allowed three hits with seven strikeouts and lowered her ERA to 1.61.

Old Mill took a 3-0 lead just as South River came back -- with the bottom of its order.

Angie Giunta reached, leading off the fifth with an error to shortstop Becky Preston. She scored when Janet Gonzalez, protecting the plate on an 0-2 pitch, flicked a low, outside offering into right-center for a triple. Gonzalez scored for a 2-0 lead on a Howell sacrifice bunt.

Bernard, meanwhile, was overpowering, striking out six batters in the first four innings.

Old Mill added its third run in the sixth when Sandy Edwards mashed a double to right to bring home Heidi Verostic, who had reached on a fielder's choice.

Baseball

North County 3, Southern-Harwood 0: Junior right-hander Chris Jackson (2-1) threw a no-hitter, striking out 12 and walking only one to lead visiting North County (4-6). Billy Whitecotton was 2-for-3 with two doubles, an RBI and one run scored.

Pub Date: 4/17/97

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