N. County muffles No. 1 Glen Burnie Evans uses only fastballs in stifling Gophers, 5-2

Softball

March 31, 1998|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

North County's Kellie Evans couldn't find the plate with her changeup and her riser kept sailing consistently high. For most pitchers that combination would spell disaster.

For Evans, it spelled victory.

Throwing almost exclusively fastballs, Evans throttled host Glen Burnie on four hits and didn't allow an earned run as the No. 6-ranked Knights upended the top-ranked Gophers, 5-2, yesterday in an Anne Arundel North Division game.

"She wasn't getting her changeup over and her rise ball was out of the strike zone," said Glen Burnie coach Bob Broccolino. "Our girls knew it, but they still couldn't hit it. That's just the sign of a great pitcher."

Evans' steady diet of inside heat handcuffed the Gophers all day, sending the defending county champions to their first loss of the season. For North County (4-1 overall, 1-1 in the division), the win was huge following Friday's deflating loss to Northeast.

"We're a team that needed a confidence-builder," said coach Brian Love. "And this was certainly it."

With the score tied at 2-2 after fielding mistakes had cost both teams in the second inning, North County took command of the game with a three-run fourth inning.

The Knights put runners on second and third with one out before Jen Guarnera's single to left scored Angie Walsh with the go-ahead run. Leadoff hitter Miranda Cole then followed with a two-run single to right, extending the lead to 5-2.

In all, North County got to starter Jen Zabetakis for 11 hits and four earned runs.

"She was just getting the ball up in the strike zone," said Broccolino. "You've got to give them credit. They were on the ball most of the day."

Staked with a lead, Evans seemed to get even stronger, allowing two hits over the final four innings.

Her biggest threat came in the fifth, when the Gophers (2-1, 2-1) put runners on second and third before Bonnie Nevin grounded to third to end the inning.

"Once we scored the runs, I really got a lot more pumped," Evans said. "I probably started throwing a little bit harder."

For Glen Burnie, now the task becomes shrugging off the loss before the Gophers meet powerful Northeast tomorrow.

"I told them this is just like the ACC," said Broccolino. "You're not going to go through a season undefeated, and almost any team can beat any other team. You've got six or seven teams that are really excellent in this county, and if you let down or have a flat day, you've had it."

Spalding 3, IND 0: Junior Julie Bahus threw a complete game three-hitter with eight strikeouts in her first start as the host Cavaliers (2-1) shutout the Indians (1-2).

Sabrina Ryals and Michelle Stack each had RBI-doubles for Spalding.

Glenelg 15, Wilde Lake 1: Senior Pam Goldberg hit two home runs with six RBI's in the fourth inning to help lead the Gladiators over the Wildcats in a Howard County league game.

Pub Date: 3/31/98

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