Antsy N. Carroll opens with win

Springer pitches Panthers past South Carroll, 3-1

Softball

High Schools

March 30, 2000|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

After having their season-opener postponed twice because of rain, the North Carroll Panthers finally took the field yesterday against South Carroll. They then survived a couple more storms and won, 3-1.

Three times, the visiting Cavaliers put two runners on base, twice with one out. Each time, however, last year's Class 3A state runners-up found a way out of the inning, as starter Angie Springer went the distance without allowing an earned run.

"The kids were starting to get antsy, wanting to play," said coach Lloyd Ford, a veteran coach at the school who took over the team when former coach Rich Harvey accepted a job in Pennsylvania.

"We were all nervous and everything after the first couple [postponements]," said Springer. "We just wanted to play."

The nerves showed a bit early, as Tiffany Langan's dropped fly ball in center with two outs in the first allowed Abby Cannistraci to score from second with South Carroll's first run.

But it also would be the Cavaliers' only run.

After the Panthers (1-0) tied the game in their half of the inning on Trisha Brown's single to left and error, allowing Katie Riley to score from second, they then survived their biggest threats of the blustery day.

The Cavaliers (1-2) seemed primed to take the lead in the second after Danielle Caballero and Ashley Taylor led off with consecutive singles, and Erin Pierorazio sacrificed both into scoring position. But North Carroll got out of it when Gina Arnone grounded back to Springer, who threw her out at first, and Caballero was cut down trying to score from third for an inning-ended double play.

The Cavaliers also put two on with one out in the fifth inning, but Springer got Cannistraci to ground out to third and Clair Duhigg to line out to second.

North Carroll took the lead for good in the fourth, when Becky Wike walked, got all the way to third on Candice Jeffery's sacrifice bunt, and scored on a surreal play in which third baseman Emily Wolfing errantly threw the ball past Taylor on the mound, and it softly rolled into foul territory as fielders watched.

"We hung in there and played a good game against them. We just had a couple errors that cost us," said South Carroll coach Debbie Eaton, who added that she can much more easily accept the physical errors than the mental ones. "Anytime the ball goes rolling off the infield and nobody knows where it is that's just mental."

"We got a couple breaks today," said Ford.

The hosts then made it 3-1 later in the inning, when Langan doubled and scored on No. 9 hitter Kristi Shaffer's sharp single to center.

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