Hot-handed Donaldson Zaps No. 4 Old Mill, 2-0

No. 8 Severna Park Pitcher Three-hits No. 4 Old Mill

Softball

April 24, 1997|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Old Mill softball coach Lori Darnall said it best.

"Severna Park is a team on the rise," said Darnall after her fourth-ranked Patriots (7-5) were blanked by No. 8 Severna Park, 2-0, in Millersville yesterday.

Sophomore Amanda Donaldson fired a three-hitter as the Falcons reeled off their seventh victory in a row for coach Duane McAlister. Two sophomores, Emily Smith and Meredith McAlister, knocked in the runs in the third inning off loser Jen Bernard.

"We wanted this game pretty bad because they're ranked higher," said Donaldson. "We started the season in a big slump, but we're coming on."

The Falcons (8-4) got off to a 1-4 start this season with Donaldson throwing left-handed to rest her injured right arm. Back throwing right-handed on April 4, Donaldson (6-2, 5-1 as right-hander) gets a little better with each outing and so do the Falcons.

"Amanda is getting stronger each time out and taking more time to warm-up has really helped her," said McAlister, who recently suggested a longer pre-game warm-up of about one-half hour.

McAlister felt that 10 to 15 minutes was not enough time for Donaldson to be ready when the umpire says play ball. The coach wants her throwing hard in the first inning and not taking three or four innings to release the heat.

Yesterday, Donaldson was obviously loose as soon as she took the mound, retiring the first 12 Patriots (six by strikeouts) she faced.

Old Mill catcher Jessica Dyer doubled leading off the bottom of the fifth and also had a one-out single in the seventh.

After Dyer's double, Donaldson set down five in a row before Jessica Howell's two-out single in the sixth. Dyer and Howell were the only base runners allowed by Donaldson, who struck out nine and did not walk a batter.

"She [Donaldson] pitched very well and Jen [Bernard] did, too, but in Anne Arundel County, you have to take advantage of opportunities," said Darnall.

Severna Park got its chance in the third inning against Bernard (6-5). Lauren Huber led off the inning with a single and after Kristin Carpenter's sacrifice bunt was botched by the Pats, Smith singled to center to score Huber.

Carpenter came home on McAlister's base hit to left.

That was the only inning the Falcons threatened Bernard, who retired 11 straight Falcons to finish.

Severna Park did not commit an error, and Old Mill could not mount a threat.

"Not to make excuses, but we had not played a game since last Wednesday and ran into Donaldson today," said Darnall.

The game was a make-up from Friday's postponement after Old Mill was closed because of a bomb threat. Both teams were rained out Monday.

Pub Date: 4/24/97

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