Key stands tall in loss to Walkersville

Improving Eagles push Frederick County power before going down, 5-1


April 23, 1999|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Don't look now, but the Francis Scott Key Eagles are rapidly turning into one of the area's premier softball teams.

Want proof? Consider yesterday's 5-1 loss to visiting Walkersville.

The Frederick County power, which advanced to the Class 2A state final a year ago and hadn't lost a Monocacy Valley Athletic League game in over two years, trailed the Eagles, 1-0, going into the seventh inning.

Key's run, the result of Meagan Tracey's RBI triple in the fourth, came against fireballing senior Amy Burdette, who hadn't allowed a run since her sophomore year and is considered by many to be the best pitcher in Maryland.

If there's such a thing as a moral victory, the Eagles certainly claimed it.

"It's not always the score that counts," said Tracey. "We played a really good game. To me, without the last inning, I think we gave them the best competition they've had so far this year."

Said Key coach Joe Linthicum. "This was one of the better games they've played this year against the best team we're going to see."

All this from a team that finished 6-10 last season and began this year with a deflating 10-0 loss to the same Lions (11-0 overall and in the league). Players said a recent six-game winning streak made all the difference.

"With the winning streak we just picked up a lot of confidence and started playing as a team," said Tracey.

For much of yesterday, they appeared to be the team to beat.

Despite striking out 16 times against Burdette, Key threatened several times. The Eagles (7-4, 7-4) put leadoff runners in scoring position in two of the last three innings. But both Casey Henry, who tripled to center in the fifth, and Stephanie Robertson, who doubled to center in the seventh, were stranded.

One run, however, seemed enough for pitcher Misti Myers, who had shut out Walkersville on two hits through the first six inning.

In the seventh, however, the Lions finally caught up to her.

Erin Hiltbrand led off with a double to left and Angie McCracken followed with a bunt single. With runners on first and third, Sarah Ramsburg then singled in Hiltbrand to tie the game. Two batters later Lisa Abbamonte delivered another RBI single to give her team a 2-1 lead.

Linthicum pulled Myers for Meredith Carter, but with two outs Janet Paterson delivered a three-run triple to the gap in right center to extend the lead to 5-1.

For Walkersville, it was a hard-earned victory.

"FSK has been the best team we've played all year," said Walkersville coach Dave Schrodel.

"They didn't make many mistakes and were able to get some big hits. This was a big win for us."

Pub Date: 4/23/99

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