`Keep on running' wins for Key

Soph forces two errors, scores for 7-inning victory

May 05, 1999|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Her team having left the bases loaded the inning before in a scoreless game, Francis Scott Key sophomore Ashley Norris employed a most aggressive strategy yesterday after slapping a sharp single to center in the bottom of the seventh.

Said Norris: "Keep on running until somebody says stop."

The designated hitter never looked back, taking advantage of two errors to go all the way around and provide the host Eagles a dramatic 1-0 win over Middletown in a key Monocacy Valley Athletic League matchup.

Norris' hit was her first as a varsity player.

"I was just hoping to get a runner on," said Eagles coach Joe Linthicum, whose team up until that point had been involved in a classic pitchers' duel. "It's unfortunate that someone had to knock the winner in that way, but I'm just glad we came out on top."

Against the Knights' overpowering pitcher, Jill Hood, who already had struck out 15 while allowing just two hits over the first six innings, Norris led off the seventh. Her sharp hit to center field rolled through the legs of outfielder Laura Flook.

After scrambling to third, Norris turned for home when the throw from the outfield missed the cutoff player and landed in short left field. She then beat a high relay throw to the plate.

The win was the Eagles' second of the season against Middletown, a 1997 state finalist, and improved their record to 12-4 after finishing 6-10 a year ago.

"It's a big win as far as the confidence of these girls," said Linthicum.

Until that point, the story had been one of dominating pitching and missed opportunities for both teams.

Eagles starter Meredith Carter, who threw a complete-game four-hitter, striking out 10, matched Hood pitch for pitch.

One day after committing seven errors in a 17-6 win over Brunswick, Key's defense was flawless. Following a first-inning line drive to the left-center field gap by Megan Enders, the Eagles' Sindi Stem nailed her at the plate on a relay after she ran through a stop sign at third.

The Eagles also held after Middletown (10-7 overall, 9-6 league) advanced runners to third three times, once with one out in the seventh, when Carter then struck out Kelly Mogard and Krissy Mayton to end the threat.

"I figured that if I just put [the ball] somewhere, and they hit it, our defense would do the rest," said Carter.

Key had chances of its own, stranding runners on first and second in the second and leaving the bases loaded in the sixth.

Pub Date: 5/05/99

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