Perry Hall's defense slips in 6-0 loss to Gaithersburg

5 errors, Seeley pitching prove too much for Gators

4A softball

May 26, 1999|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Perry Hall Gators spent most of this season dominating Baltimore County opponents with pitching and defense.

In last night's Class 4A state semifinals against Gaithersburg at Randazzo Park, however, defense deserted the normally sure-handed Gators.

And facing a pitcher throwing what she called the best game of her career was too much to overcome in a 6-0 loss.

Perry Hall (16-4) committed five errors, leading to six unearned runs, and managed just one hit -- an infield single by Nicole Pugaczewski with two outs in the seventh -- against Trojans hurler Shannon Seeley.

"We've gotten by with pitching and defense, and we just didn't play defense today," said Perry Hall coach Brian Radcliffe. "We just couldn't make the plays."

Just as big a factor, however, was the pitching of Seeley, who retired 20 straight after starting the game by issuing a walk to Courtney Outen.

She finished with 12 strikeouts.

"We couldn't put the ball into play," said Radcliffe. "She kept us off stride. Even when we figured out the pattern and knew when it was coming, we just could not hit it. She was the best pitcher we faced all year."

Seeley, who entered the game with a modest 3.32 ERA, said she felt the rush of pitching in such an important game.

"It was the most exciting, most intense, best-pitched game I've ever had," said the senior, who has earned a full scholarship to play at Liberty. "The adrenaline was pumping."

Gaithersburg (16-4) advanced to tomorrow's Class 4A state final against Severna Park at 3: 30 p.m.

After stranding a runner at third in its first at-bat, Perry Hall dodged a bullet in the bottom of the first.

The inning began when Lana Wilcox blooped a single to center. Seeley then put down a sacrifice bunt to advance her to second, but she was then thrown out trying to take third for a double play.

The base-running error cost the Trojans at least a run, as Melissa Vincent then followed with a solid single to left. She was later stranded.

Gaithersburg, however, soon rebounded to take the lead.

Vincent -- who finished 4-for-4 with a double, triple and three RBIs -- led off the fourth with a double into the gap in left-center, took third on a groundout and scored with two outs when shortstop Amanda Fischer mishandled a grounder off the bat of Brooke Mawry, making it 1-0.

Gaithersburg extended its lead to 4-0 in the fifth, taking advantage of two Perry Hall errors and getting a two-run triple to center from Vincent.

Pub Date: 5/26/99

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