Willis and Glen Burnie squeeze Chesapeake, 1-0

Northeast, N. County other softball winners

Playoff roundup

High schools

May 18, 2000|By Jake Schaller | Jake Schaller,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Glen Burnie softball coach Bob Broccolino showed confidence in sophomore pitcher Tina Willis last night, and Willis responded.

Two clutch strikeouts in the bottom of the seventh inning preserved the No.2-ranked Gophers' 1-0 victory over No.5 Chesapeake-AA in a Class 4A East region semifinal last night at Randazzo Park.

Glen Burnie scored the winning run in the top of the fifth inning with a suicide squeeze. Sophomore catcher Jessica Griffith led off with a double and was replaced by courtesy runner Amy Rainer. Rainer moved to third on an error that allowed sophomore shortstop Stephanie Stoll to reach first base.

Chesapeake's Erin Taylor struck out the next batter, then intentionally walked Willis to load the bases. Kristin Kiriluk then brought Rainer home for the winning run on a suicide squeeze, her third of the year and second to decide a game.

Glen Burnie (17-3) will face North County (16-4) for the region title at 3 p.m. tomorrow at Glen Burnie. North County defeated Severna Park, 6-0, in the other semifinal to set up a rubber game for the season between the Knights and Glen Burnie, which split regular-season games.

"If you told me before the game that it would be 1-0, I wouldn't have thought that out of the realm of possibility," Broccolino said. "You don't score a lot of runs in this league."

With the Gophers clinging to their 1-0 lead in the final frame, Willis gave up a leadoff double to Cougar freshman Heather Spoon. Taylor then moved Spoon to third with a sacrifice bunt, and speedster Crystal Bateman replaced Spoon at third as a courtesy runner.

With the tying run 60 feet away, Broccolino decided to stay with the sophomore.

The double, Broccolino said, "was only the second pitch she left over the plate all game. "But she was pumped up for this game all week, and she was still throwing hard, so I didn't want to take the ball out of her hands. I wanted to let her win or lose the game."

Willis won it with two consecutive strikeouts. The second culminated with a 2-2 inside fastball that Willis celebrated with a pump of her fist before being mobbed by teammates.

No.3 Northeast 1, South River 0: The defending Class 3A state champ Eagles scored an unearned run in the second inning. Junior pitcher Rachael Herrick allowed two hits to get the win. The Eagles (18-4) will take on No.14 River Hill.

No.4 North County 6, No.7 Severna Park 0: The Knights picked up single runs in the first and third innings and four more in the seventh.

North County next faces Glen Burnie, the Gophers having won, 7-4, and the Knights victorious 2-1 in extra innings during the regular season.


No.9 Old Mill 6, No.14 Broadneck 4: Jay Long's two-run homer propelled a five-run fifth inning as Old Mill came from behind in Millersville to win the Class 4A East region semifinal.

The host Patriots (15-7) advanced to tomorrow'sregion final.

Jackson went all the way giving up 10 hits and striking out four Bruins (13-8). Northeast 10, South River 5: The Eagles scored four in the first inning and built a 7-0 lead by the fourth to advance to tomorrow's Class 3A East region final. Senior pitcher Chris Robbins, a converted catcher, got the win for the Eagles.

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