Hammond softball turns corner

Bears are staying close and winning

depth boosts Hammond boys tennis


April 08, 2001|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

This is a different Hammond softball team.

"We go out there trying to win every game," said junior shortstop Tara Zammichieli, a three-year starter. "We know we can play with anybody."

For certain, the Golden Bears, who won only one game in each of the previous two seasons, are much more competitive. Five of their eight games have been decided by one run, and four of them in the bottom of the seventh.

Hammond's three victories came in its last at-bat. The Golden Bears beat Mount Hebron, 16-15, on a two-out, bases-loaded triple by freshman Whitney Schrader; defeated Glenelg, 6-5, for the first time since 1993 on a fielder's choice; and Friday scored without a hit to edge Oakland Mills, 7-6.

The Golden Bears lost to Howard, 1-0, and to Long Reach, 6-5, when the Lightning scored in the bottom of the seventh.

"We will not give up," said Hammond coach Scott Farrow, who, in his third season, has given the program stability. "We'll find a way to score some runs and get back into it. That's a big difference from last year."

Other differences?

"We have more athletes on the team," Farrow said.

Said Zammichieli: "Our infield is more solid, and everybody in the outfield can catch the ball."

The Golden Bears, who start only two seniors as well as two freshmen, also have received a boost from sophomore pitcher Cara Prather.

Farrow said the team "works hard in practice" and this season is doing "the little things" necessary to win games.

Being more competitive has also changed the team's attitude.

"It's definitely more fun," Zammichieli said. "When you come out with a chance to win, and you know you can win, it's a lot more fun than just coming out to play."

Oakland Mills, which like Hammond, won only once in each of the previous two seasons, is also making progress, according to third-year coach Jon Browne.

"We played three decent games this week," said Browne, whose team lost to Wilde Lake (5-3), Mount Hebron (11-2), Long Reach (17-0) and Hammond (7-6). "We were competitive. We never quit."

The Scorpions (0-8) have only two seniors on the team and still are working on fundamentals and correcting mental mistakes.

"Our first goal is seven-inning games," said Browne, whose team has lost five five-inning games this season. "We want to be competitive for seven innings. The girls are coming along. They're making strides. I'm proud of them."

River Hill has perhaps the best one-two pitching combination in Shannon Jackson and Kelly Smith. Jackson struck out 12 and nine, respectively, in wins last week over Atholton and Mount Hebron. Smith struck out four in a 1-0 loss in nine innings to Centennial and 11 in a 15-5 win over Hammond.


Hammond leads the boys race with a 7-0 record, but it hasn't been easy. Four matches were decided by 3-2 scores.

Hammond coach John DiPaula points to his team's depth as a main reason for the team's success.

"If we can win one singles match, I feel certain we can always pull out two of the three doubles," DiPaula said.

Top singles players Dan Merti and Mike Sandler, both juniors, are 4-3 and 5-2, respectively. The top two doubles teams -- sophomores Greg Kennedy and Te Basoor and senior Kenny Cheung and junior Geoff Deutsch -- are 5-2. The third doubles team of juniors Ricky Leshin and Jason Morenstein is 6-1.

Coaching vacancy

Mount Hebron is looking for a girls varsity soccer coach. Contact athletic director Chris Robinson at 410-313-2885 if interested.


Here are standings after a recent club match at Turf Valley: Mount Hebron 6-0; Howard 5 1/2 - 1/2 ; Oakland Mills 4 1/2 -1 1/2 ; River Hill 3-3; Centennial 2 1/2 -3 1/2 ; Glenelg 1-5; Wilde Lake 1-5; River Hill II 1/2 -5 1/2 . Mount Hebron's Jeff Castle was medalist at par.

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