North Carroll gets bats working in 11-5 triumph

No. 11 Panthers collect 16 hits against Westminster

April 20, 1999|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The team with the county's best pitching served notice yesterday that opponents in Carroll County now have something else to fear.

Eleventh-ranked North Carroll pounded out 16 hits, including a two-run homer by Carla Ramirez, as the host Panthers topped Westminster, 11-5, in a Carroll County and Central Maryland Conference game.

Eight players in the starting lineup had at least one hit for the Panthers, who had been inconsistent at times at the plate."

"We hit the ball up and down the lineup," said North Carroll coach Rich Harvey, whose team also was helped by six Westminster errors. "We've had games where we've hit in clusters, but today we were hitting one through nine."

North Carroll (6-1 overall, 5-0 in the county, 3-1 CMC) has won three straight since suffering its only loss of the season last week to Frederick in extra innings.

To prevail this time, however, the Panthers first had to hold off an upset-minded Westminster team, which took a 1-0 lead in the first inning and sent 10 batters to the plate in a four-run sixth, forcing starter Angie Smith to give way in favor of Katie Mullinix.

Owls coach Lisa Harford said, on the heels of a recent team-wide hitting slump, she told her players to be more aggressive at the plate.

"We hit the ball well today," said Harford. "Four runs is a lot to score against North Carroll in one inning. If we hadn't had those brain lapses on defense, it would've been closer."

Closer maybe, but the way North Carroll was hitting the ball it probably wouldn't have changed the outcome.

Trailing 1-0 following an RBI double by Westminster's Heather Sinclair, the Panthers came back in the bottom of the first to touch Sinclair for three runs on five hits, including run-scoring singles by Mullinix and Trisha Brown.

They then extended the lead to 6-1 in the third, with the big blow Ramirez's homer, a booming line drive into the gap in right-center off Sinclair's riser.

"I love the high ones," said Ramirez, who entered the game without a homer this season. "I got all of it."

Trailing 8-1, the Owls (2-5, 0-2 in the county) mounted a comeback, getting a bases-loaded walk by Jo Jennings and a two-run single by Karen Herbert, taking advantage of two North Carroll errors to score four unearned runs and cut the lead to 8-5.

That, however, was as close as they'd get, as the Panthers answered with three more in the bottom half of the inning to seal the win.

"We're trying to build on each game," said Harford. "We may not get a win each time out, but our goal is to keep getting better for the playoffs."

Pub Date: 4/20/99

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