No. 12 Atholton rolls on by beating Long Reach

Raiders finish first half with 7-1 win, 9-0 record

April 20, 1999|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Atholton may be the surprise team of the season, but it won't catch anybody by surprise anymore.

The 12th-ranked Raiders completed the first half of the season yesterday with a workmanlike 7-1 victory over visiting Long Reach. Freshman pitcher Katie Zitnay retired 15 of 16 Long Reach hitters -- including 11 straight -- between the second and seventh innings, and allowed three hits. Sarah Costa went 3-for-3 and Tiffany Mathis had a double and a home run in three at-bats.

"No one has hit the ball like that against Kristen [Schaper] this season," said Long Reach coach Chuck Struhar. "I was disappointed with our throwing errors, but they're good. They're the best team I've seen in the county."

A triple by Sheree Gross followed by a wild pitch gave Long Reach a 1-0 lead in the second. But a two-out throwing error by Gross in the bottom half of the inning allowed the Raiders to tie the game.

Atholton broke the game open in the fourth, scoring three runs on RBI hits by Mathis, Costa and Stacy DeFino.

Zitnay, who didn't walk a batter and struck out two, had an RBI single in the fifth, and the Raiders scored two more in the sixth, one on Mathis' home run to center field.

"We played excellent today," said Zitnay. "We hit really well, and played good defense."

Can the Raiders remain unbeaten?

Costa thinks so. "As long as we play as a team and play to our potential," she said.

Wilde Lake stayed one game behind the Raiders with a 3-0 win over visiting Howard.

The Wildecats scored all their runs in the second inning. Sara Taliano had a one-out single, then Grazia Silvestro's single to left was misplayed and rolled to the fence, allowing both runners to score. Shannon Fitchett's two-out single drove in Alex King, who had singled.

Wilde Lake pitcher Jen Babish had no walks and struck out one.

Howard loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, but a pop out to the second baseman and a right field-to-first base putout ended the inning.

Sophomore Shannon Jackson threw her first no-hitter in River Hill's 16-0, five-inning win at Hammond. Jackson struck out seven and walked two.

Here are the county standings at the halfway mark of the season: Atholton 9-0, Wilde Lake 8-1, River Hill 7-2, Howard 5-4, Long Reach 4-4, Mount Hebron 4-5, Glenelg 3-6, Centennial 3-6, Hammond 1-8, Oakland Mills 0-8.

Long Reach and Oakland Mills did not play each other in the first half. They will meet twice late in the season.

Pub Date: 4/20/99

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