No. 1 Northeast trips Glen Burnie

Eagles warm up for playoffs with 11 hits in 7-2 victory

Softball

May 08, 1999|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Northeast appears to have its bats ready for the playoffs.

The No. 1-ranked Eagles closed out their regular season with an 11-hit attack in a 7-2 win against No. 9 Glen Burnie yesterday in Pasadena.

Sophomore Erin Hart had the biggest of them all, a leadoff homer in the fourth to snap a 2-2 tie. Senior All-Metro pitcher Stacy Smith allowed four Gophers hits to get the win.

Stephanie Adams provided the early punch when she tripled home Amanda Shifflett and scored on a wild pitch to give the Eagles (18-2) a 2-0 lead in the second.

Hart, Adams and Shifflett all had two hits and two runs scored. Stephanie Baber also had two singles and drove in a run with Smith helping her own cause in the fifth with a two-out single to score two.

"We're peaking at a nice time," said Northeast coach Marianne Shultz. "We're healthy and that's a good thing. We're deep in a lot of positions, which we're excited about. Mentally, everyone is supporting each other and we're real confident. And yes, we're hitting the ball real well."

It was tough to determine which was more impressive with Hart's first varsity homer: the long shot she pulled to right or the hook slide she used to get around the tag of Glen Burnie catcher Jaime Dotson.

"I had a ball on me so I was looking for the perfect strike to hit," she said. "I love hook slides, they're my favorite. I was just determined to get home."

And while a veteran Northeast team has hopes of bringing home a Class 3A state title, the Gophers, defending Class 4A state champs in a transition year after heavy graduation losses, are simply looking to take things one game at a time as they prepare for the demanding East region.

Despite the loss, coach Bob Broccolino found plenty of positives to build on from yesterday's effort.

The Gophers (9-8) were able to get the first earned runs against Smith all season with their two-run third inning.

Denise Schultheis led off with a double, scored on a triple from Tiffany Jordan, who came across on a single by Christina Bounelis. All three were well-hit balls, a rarity against Smith.

The Gophers also got sound defense throughout with outfielder Michelle Schultheis making two nice running catches in left.

"I feel much better after today," said Broccolino, whose Gophers had a loss against North County and a close win against Meade earlier in the week. "There are a lot of positives going into the playoffs and that's what we'll accentuate. That was the first two earned runs on Smith all year and we'll stress how well we put the ball in play."

Pub Date: 5/08/99

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