Jackson, River Hill keep upper hand on Howard

3-hitter powers Hawks to sixth straight victory over No. 14 Lions, 7-2

April 29, 1999|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Four fewer walks. Nine fewer wild pitches. Two fewer hit batters.

River Hill sophomore pitcher Shannon Jackson was a different pitcher yesterday against Howard than when she faced the Lions earlier this month.

"She had control," said Howard coach Dave Vezzi.

Jackson limited the 14th-ranked Lions to three hits, didn't hit a batter or throw a wild pitch, walked four and struck out seven in a 7-2 victory at Howard.

"I have a lot more confidence in myself than the first time we played them," said Jackson, who won the previous game against Howard despite control problems.

She also has a more realistic approach to pitching.

"I've learned that if I walk someone, it's not the end of the world," said Jackson, who struck out four straight batters between the fourth and fifth innings. "And if someone gets a hit, I know I have the defense to back me up."

Jackson also credited sophomore catcher Tara Fadrowski, her battery mate on last year's JV, with helping turn things around.

"Tara is amazing," said Jackson. "She's calmed me down so much in tough situations. Her words are really comforting."

No. 15 River Hill (12-3 overall, 10-3 league) has beaten Howard (8-5) six straight times -- the previous three were each decided by one run. While those games could have gone either way, the Hawks were in control yesterday.

River Hill's Aneesha Griffin tripled and scored on a groundout in the first inning, but Howard tied the game in its half on Stacey Swiney's home run to center.

The Hawks scored three times with two outs in the second. With Carrie Kelehan on third, Heather Doyle grounded an RBI single to right. Marie Ziesat, starting the game for Kelli Myers, who was ill, then homered to right center.

"Both [Doyle and Ziesat] had been struggling at the plate, and they came through big," said River Hill coach Dave Vitagliano.

Ziesat, who has started eight games this season, also had an RBI single in River Hill's three-run sixth inning.

"Everyone played really well," said Ziesat. "We kept our heads in the game the whole time."

Pub Date: 4/29/99

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