Hebron walks over Long Reach

Vikings win 1st of spring, 9-3, as Lightning misses its pitching ace, Schaper

April 07, 1999|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

With Long Reach pitching ace Kristen Schaper sidelined by neck pain, Mount Hebron took advantage of nine walks by her replacement to post its first victory of the season, 9-3, at Long Reach yesterday.

Schaper, who has struck out 44 and walked 10 in 27 innings, took herself out in the second inning of last Saturday's championship game of the Arundel Tournament because of "a sharp pain from my shoulder blade up my neck."

Getting ready to warm up before yesterday's game, Schaper suggested to coach Chuck Struhar that he have sub Kerry Colegrove warm up as "a precaution in case I couldn't play."

Struhar then told catcher Kristi Drew to work with Colegrove. Schaper, who said she still felt pain in her neck but "could have played," never did warm up.

Colegrove, a junior who said she pitched 15-to-20 innings last year on JV, suddenly got her first varsity start.

"I was definitely nervous but also excited," said Colegrove, who struck out four. "I think I pitched well, but I wasn't happy with the number of walks."

Five of the nine batters Colegrove walked scored -- one in the second inning, three in the third and one in the seventh.

"She gutted it out and stayed with it, and I'm really proud of her," Struhar said of Colegrove. "But when you walk that many, you're not going to win."

Mount Hebron freshman pitcher Jessica Lewis kept Long Reach scoreless until the sixth inning, when the Lightning (2-4 overall, 1-3 county) used three singles, a walk and an error to score three runs. That halved the Vikings' lead, but they scored three runs with two outs in the seventh for the final margin.

Lewis said that with Schaper not playing, she knew she "didn't have to pitch perfectly to win." Still, she said yesterday's effort was her best of the season.

"She struggled a little to keep the ball down, but once she got in a groove, she was there," said Mount Hebron coach Tina Maddox. "She came through when we needed her."

The entire Mount Hebron team (1-2 county) played well. Melissa Litaker, a junior back-up pitcher playing her first varsity game in center field, had four RBIs, and second baseman Amanda Crehan had an RBI double.

"I think we were a little down on ourselves, and winning this will build a lot of confidence," Crehan said. "Our intensity level was a lot higher than in the past."

Said Maddox: "They needed this to get over the hump. It builds morale and gives them confidence that they can do it."

Mount Hebron took a 1-0 lead in the second, but Long Reach appeared to have tied it in its half of the inning when Sheree Gross hit the ball over the right-center-field fence. Mount Hebron appealed, saying Gross had missed first base, and the field umpire agreed and called her out.

Pub Date: 4/07/99

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