Surging Severna Park rolls into state final, 5-0

Donaldson's pitching, 2-run rallies in second, third innings down Bowie

4A softball

May 26, 1999|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

After finding its way through the rigorous Class 4A East region last week, Severna Park made things look easy in yesterday's semifinal round of state play at Randazzo Park.

The No. 2-ranked Falcons scrapped for two runs in the second, relied on their power for two more in the third and rolled to the state championship game with a 5-0 win over an overmatched Bowie team from Prince George's County.

The Falcons improved to 21-4 on the season and will go after their second state title at 3: 30 p.m. tomorrow when they meet Gaithersburg at Randazzo Park. Gaithersburg also won by shutout in its semifinal, blanking Perry Hall, 6-0. Severna Park's only other state championship came in 1987.

After getting past Anne Arundel rivals Arundel, Chesapeake and North County -- all of whom were ranked No. 1 in the metro area at one time or another during the season -- to win the East region, the Falcons came into yesterday's game looking relaxed and confident. It showed.

Senior pitcher Amanda Donaldson was never in trouble against the Bulldogs, who started the game with seven sophomores and two juniors and finished the season at 21-4.

Donaldson scattered three hits, never allowing more than one runner on base in any inning, and finished with eight strikeouts to get the win.

"Today, we came out and had a good time," she said. "We played some really good defense and hit the ball very well. I just went out expecting another tough game."

The Falcons' offense went to work in the second inning, getting a walk, sacrifice bunt, a wild pitch and run-scoring singles from Joan Prim and Becky Strohmer to take a 2-0 lead.

In the third, they came back with three sharp hits -- singles from Lauren Pollock and Missy Ledsome sandwiched around a triple down the third-base line from Meredith McAlister in the middle.

The four runs seemed to deflate Bowie and sent the Falcons on their way.

"We've been living on one- or two-run innings early, then the big inning comes later and kind of clinches it. The important thing is we're having a lot of fun out there," said McAlister.

Strong pitching, near-flawless defense, getting down the sacrifice bunts with timely hitting afterward

"That's what I'm talking about," said Severna Park coach Jeff Shepherd with a smile.

"We've been waiting for Meredith to hit that shot all season long and for her to come up with it in the state semifinal -- that's super. We wanted Amanda to pitch her game -- one through nine, all seven innings -- and she did that. We're just as confident as can be right now."

Strohmer, batting ninth in the order, had two singles, and a run scored to go with the run she drove in. Ledsome reached base all three at-bats with two singles, a walk and run scored. Kim Burke laid down two perfect sacrifice bunts, the first putting the winning run in scoring position.

Pub Date: 5/26/99

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