Top of order puts Glenelg in gear

First 2 batters get 7 hits in 9-6 win over Howard


High School

March 31, 2000|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Howard couldn't stop Glenelg's No. 1 and 2 hitters, Lauren Koutrelakos and Nicole Barnoski, respectively, from reaching base yesterday. They combined for seven of the Gladiators' 12 hits, as surprising Glenelg outlasted the visiting Lions, 9-6.

Koutrelakos, a 5-foot junior shortstop who won the county pole vault title in indoor track, had two doubles, a single and walked once. Barnoski, a senior catcher, knocked home Koutrelakos four times with a double and three singles.

"That's a nice combination," said Howard coach Dave Vezzi, whose team had a 4-1 lead after an inning and a half. "You've got a contact hitter batting second and a leadoff hitter that's going to get on base a lot and not get caught stealing very often."

Koutrelakos, who also runs the 55-meter dash in indoor track, and Barnoski are two reason's Glenelg is off to a 3-1 start. Last season, the Gladiators were 1-3 at this time en route to a 6-12 county record.

"We're working well together," Barnoski said. "She gets on base a lot of the time, and it gives me something to look forward to."

Said Koutrelakos: "It's fun. I know if I get on base that most of the time she's going to get me home. Nicole has been hitting really well."

Glenelg is hitting well as a team. The Gladiators had 10 hits Wednesday against River Hill in an eight-inning, 7-2 victory.

"We're hitting the ball, and Howard made us hit today," said Glenelg coach Dean Sheridan, whose team's only loss was a 1-0 setback to sixth-ranked Atholton. "It was good for this team to be down three and have to hit their way out of it. It was a good learning experience and it's going to help us."

Howard (3-1) finished with nine hits, four in the first inning when it scored three times. Shannon Tracy, Lindsey Hasiuk and Kristina Dronenberg (sacrifice fly) each had an RBI.

Glenelg used four singles and Koutrelakos' two-run double to score four times in the second for a 5-4 lead it never lost.

The Gladiators added three more runs in the fourth after Howard sophomore pitcher Kristin Gormus (six strikeouts, one walk) struck out the first two batters. Koutrelakos bunted safely and went to second on a bad throw. Barnoski singled her home. Singles by Amanda Strandquist and Kelly Ryan and an illegal pitch by Gormus resulted in two more runs.

Glenelg committed five errors, and two came in the fifth inning that helped the Lions add two more runs to cut their deficit to 8-6.

Howard put runners on second and third with one out in the sixth inning, but pitcher Shannon Emerson (one strikeout, one walk) got Amber Slavotinek to pop out on the ninth pitch and Koutrelakos made a nice play at shortstop to throw out Tracy.

Fittingly, Glenelg scored its final run when Koutrelakos led off the sixth with a walk, stole second and scored on Barnoski's single.

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