No. 6 Atholton wrings out Wilde Lake, Kaiser, 6-0

Raiders take advantage of pitcher's inexperience

Softball

High Schools

March 30, 2000|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

There is no substitute for experience, and no one knows that better than Wilde Lake pitcher Kristy Kaiser.

After two seasons with the junior varsity, the Wilde Lake junior became the starter this season, replacing graduated All-County performer Jen Babish.

"It's a lot of pressure," Kaiser said. "They're a lot better in varsity, so it gets a little bit nerve wracking."

Kaiser faced defending county champion Atholton yesterday, and the sixth-ranked Raiders made it look easy in a 6-0 victory at Atholton. Kaiser gave up eight innings, including a two-RBI single to Jessica McDonagh, a run-scoring double to Stacy DeFino and a run-scoring triple to Sarah Costa. Kaiser also walked five, including three in the second inning when she walked in a run.

Still, neither Kaiser nor Wilde Lake coach Sal Milio was complaining after the game. This is a work in progress, and they both know it.

"She's an inexperienced pitcher, and it's going to take some time for her to develop confidence against this type of competition," said Milio.

Kaiser said she has improved since last summer, and looks forward to getting better as she gets more experience.

"I'm happy about how I've progressed from the summer," Kaiser said. "My speed has improved and I've learned new pitches. I'm much more confident with what I can throw."

Kaiser had a strong first inning, striking out Karen Lee for the first out. She struck out Kelly Kemp to open the second inning, then gave up a single to DeFino. Then she walked three straight for the Raiders' first run.

Kaiser faced seven batters in the second inning, then seven more in the third when McDonagh delivered her one-out RBI single.

After retiring the first two hitters in the fourth, Kaiser gave up a walk followed by Costa's triple, Kemp's single and DeFino's double. She faced seven hitters again in the fourth inning.

"They're good hitters, and I was getting a little tired," Kaiser said. "I try and stay in the game mentally. If you get down in the count, you have to fight back and it gets tough."

Despite being shut out for the second straight game, Milio said his team's effort was "probably the best game we've played so far. We're still not hitting, but I saw intensity and motivation. It's a step in the right direction."

Atholton sophomore pitcher Katie Zitnay was nearly flawless, allowing only an infield single to Debbie Capelle in the third inning. Zitnay also walked her first batter of the season.

"She's like a machine," Atholton coach John Zitko said of Zitnay. "She's really challenging herself."

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