Atholton races to top in softball

Raiders top Long Reach, 4-0, can clinch crown with victory tomorrow

Roundup

High Schools

May 09, 2000|By Stan Rappaport | By Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

A week ago, defending county softball champion Atholton trailed first-place Long Reach by two games. Not anymore.

The ninth-ranked Raiders handed 11th-ranked Long Reach its third loss in four games, 4-0, yesterday at Atholton and moved into sole possession of first place with one game remaining. Atholton (16-3 overall, 14-3 league) can capture the championship outright with a victory tomorrow against visiting Hammond (1-16). Long Reach (15-4, 13-4) slipped into a second-place tie with 15th-ranked River Hill. The Lightning close out the season at Glenelg (10-7) while the Hawks are at Howard (9-8).

The victory was especially sweet for Atholton pitcher Katie Zitnay, who scattered three hits, two for triples, and struck out one on her 16th birthday.

"That was a very good birthday present," Zitnay said.

Zitnay and Long Reach pitcher Kristin Schaper (four hits, four walks, one strikeout) both threw well. The difference was Atholton's ability to scrap for runs when it had the chance. The Raiders scored single runs in the third and fourth innings without a hit, and added two more runs on a fifth-inning RBI single by Tiffany Mathis and a sixth-inning double from Jessica McDonagh.

"When we had scoring situations we took advantage," said Atholton coach John Zitko.

Atholton's No. 9 hitter, Tina Ellinger, reached on an error to start the third. She stole second and smartly tagged up and moved to third on a flyout to left. Mathis hit a sharp grounder to shortstop Tina Rezaiyan, who made a nice play to retire Mathis as Ellinger scored.

Sarah Costa led off the Atholton fourth with a walk, and one batter later moved to third on a throwing error. McDonagh began 0-2 in the count against Schaper, but worked it to 3-2. On the ninth pitch, McDonagh brought Costa home with a fly out to left.

Hammond 10, Oakland Mills 9: Senior Laura Berry hit a two-out, bases-loaded double to left center in the bottom of the seventh to score three runs and give Hammond its first win of the season. Oakland Mills' only win was a 3-2 decision over Hammond.

Tennis

River Hill 3, Mount Hebron 2: River Hill's boys team clinched a share of the title with the victory over visiting Mount Hebron. The Hawks (16-1) can win the title outright with a victory today at Howard (5-12). Centennial (15-2) is in second place.

Mount Hebron's No. 1 Rohan Nabar beat Britt Boras, 8-0, to give the Vikings (14-3) the early lead. River Hill's No. 2 doubles team of Ben Mueller and Colin Brightfield and No. 3 doubles team of Cliff Jackson and Dan Rapp won for a 2-1 River Hill lead. River Hill's No.1 doubles team of Eric Buchner and Matt Langan clinched the Hawks' victory.

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