Off a break, Howard doesn't rest

In first game in 13 days, Lions top Centennial, 4-0


April 18, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Not even a two-week layoff could handcuff the Howard softball team.

Playing for the first time since April 4, the No. 9-ranked Lions easily outpaced host Centennial, 4-0, in Ellicott City yesterday.

With the win, Howard improved to 7-1 overall and in the county and tied fifth-ranked Atholton for first place in the county standings.

The Lions broke out of the gate with three runs in the first two innings - more than enough for junior pitcher Kristin Gormus, who allowed three singles in the complete-game shutout.

"You hate to be in a game where you're down by a run and the team's not coming through offensively," said Gormus, who improved to 7-1 this season. "It was a big win, especially since we were coming off the break."

Howard could have stewed about its last outing - a 2-0 setback to Atholton on April 4. But four spirited practices over the Easter vacation and a gaudy win-loss mark has buoyed team morale.

"I didn't think we'd be 7-1," said Lions coach Dave Vezzi, who has only one senior in his starting lineup and has occasionally started five sophomores. "We just play good defense. Hopefully, that doesn't break down the rest of the season."

Centennial senior pitcher Amanda Hall struck out six Howard batters, but was tagged for three earned runs - one each in the first, second and seventh innings.

After Hall issued back-to-back walks to the first two batters of the game, she coaxed sophomore Tee Dronenburg into flying out.

After Gormus dribbled a single to right field to load the bases, Hall struck out sophomore Melissa Javier. But sophomore Kellie Freiert drew another walk to push junior Beth Myers across the plate.

In the second inning, singles by Myers and Dronenburg scored two more runs for the Lions. Gormus closed out the scoring with an infield single in the seventh that drove in senior catcher Shannon Tracy.

Meanwhile, Gormus was locating her pitches, earning 0-1 counts against 14 of the 25 Centennial batters she faced. Only singles by Marianne Klingaman, Melissa Boone and Laura Angle spoiled Gormus' bid for a no-hitter.

"We didn't generate any kind of offense today," said Eagles coach Dale Huting, whose squad was ranked 12th in the preseason, but dropped to 3-5 overall and in the county. "We did OK defensively. We just didn't get the hits we needed."

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