Glen Burnie catcher Bonnie Nevin had gathered her things and was headed for the bus yesterday at North County when coach Bob Broccolino said thanks for the big hit in the eighth.
Nevin's double provided the game-winning run as the top-ranked Gophers survived a 7-6 thriller over the No. 3 Knights.
The Gophers improved to 12-4 overall and, at 6-2 in league play, still have a chance to represent the North Division in Tuesday's county championship game.
They need to beat first-place Northeast (8-0 in division play) on Friday and close out the regular season with a win against Meade on Monday, hoping that Chesapeake can knock off Northeast on the same day.
Yesterday's game was a character builder for both teams with the playoffs approaching. The Gophers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning before North County (12-6 overall) fought back to tie the game at 6 in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out double from Chrissy Suit, followed by a sharp single up the middle from Amy Balonis.
The rest of the afternoon belonged to Nevin and Glen Burnie pitcher Michelle Whelan.
Marianne Ogle singled with two outs in the top of the eighth before Nevin ripped a double down the line in left. Whelan retired the Knights in order in the bottom of the eighth.
The game featured eight errors, some poor base-running choices, and a lot more runs and hits (combined 21) than expected with Whelan and North County standout Kellie Evans on the mound.
"I'll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day," said Broccolino. "We didn't play very well, and North County didn't play very well. We hit the ball, they hit the ball, and both teams made some mistakes. But both teams showed a lot of character with some two-out hits."
Tiffany Jordan and Jamie Dotson had run-scoring singled to cap the Gophers' four-run first inning. The Knights, who were out of contention for the division title after Monday's loss against Northeast, kept battling back.
Trailing 6-2 in the fifth, the Knights got three back when Evans tripled to deep left to score two and came across a batter later on an error. They finally got even in the seventh before the Gophers had the last say in the eighth.
"I was happy the way we fought back," said North County coach Brian Love. "Two games in a row now, we've dug ourselves a hole [Northeast scored three in the first in a 9-1 win on Monday], but we had more intensity and showed hitting can become contagious."
Glen Burnie had five batters with two hits each in its 11-hit attack. Evans went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Knights.
Pub Date: 4/30/98