Pitching, defense a hit for Wilde Lake

Softball team stands 8-2, `and we're still not hitting'

High Schools

Notebook

April 20, 2001|By Stan Rappaport and Kevin Van Valkenburg | Stan Rappaport and Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

Wilde Lake softball coach Sal Milio knew his team could be strong this season. Only one thing stood in the way.

"We can play with anyone if we can hit," Milio said before the season. "We've got to hit the ball."

Ten games into the county season, the Wildecats are not hitting as well as Milio knows they can. But it hasn't stopped them from already surpassing last year's record of seven wins against county teams.

"We're 8-2 and we're still not hitting," Milio said after yesterday's 8-5 victory over visiting Hammond. "It's amazing."

The difference, said Milio, has been the Wildecats' pitching and defense, which yesterday played its second straight errorless game.

Senior pitcher Kristy Kaiser is 7-1 and has been impressive.

"She's more powerful and more confident," said Wilde Lake senior shortstop Megan Lucks, who hit her first career home run against Hammond. "She's really held the team together. She is very positive, her head is in every game and she keeps us focused."

Lucks, who played second base last season, said Kaiser also has learned to trust the defense. Kaiser agreed.

"I'm not afraid if someone hits the ball," said Kaiser, one of six senior starters. "I trust the defense will make the right play."

Clinton selects Temple

Oakland Mills senior hurdler Rachel Clinton will take her talents to Temple University this year.

Clinton, who was a 2A-1A state champion in the 55-meter hurdles during the indoor season, visited the campus earlier this month and decided to accept an offer for a full-ride scholarship, choosing the Owls over a small group of other schools, including Howard and Virginia Tech.

"I really liked the campus and it seemed like the team had a lot of chemistry," Clinton said. "I liked the area, too. After being raised in the suburbs, I'm excited to live in the city."

Clinton, who is interested in studying elementary education at Temple, said the track team has three coaches on staff that focus specifically on developing hurdlers, another factor in her decision.

"I know that they can help me improve on my times," she said. "I'm really excited about all of it."

Track and field

Centennial, Glenelg, Howard, Long Reach and Wilde Lake are just five of the 32 teams that will participate in the sixth annual Glenelg Invitational tomorrow at Glenelg.

The meet, one of the largest in the area, should feature strong teams from Urbana, Thomas Stone, Franklin, Calvert Hall and Damascus, among several others. Field events begin at 9:30 a.m. and opening ceremonies commence at 10.

The Long Reach girls squad should be one of the teams to watch, especially after several decent performances at the Woodlawn Invitational two weeks ago. Teammates Rolanda Howard and Shayla Moore, two of the top long and triple jumpers in the state, should lead the way for a deep and talented Lightning squad. Howard also should be a threat to place high in the hurdles.

Oakland Mills and River Hill will participate in today's Meade Stampede.

Vikes lacrosse hangs tough

No one will ever accuse the Mount Hebron boys of playing a soft non-conference lacrosse schedule.

The Vikings, who have already battled with McDonogh and Loyola this year, on Wednesday nearly beat Carthage, N.Y., which is traditionally one of the top high school lacrosse teams in the country.

Mount Hebron rallied after getting down 5-3 at halftime, and tied the game at 7-7 to force overtime. The Vikings eventually lost, 8-7, but had several near misses in the extra period.

Kurt Nordhoff continued his impressive play, scoring four goals. Coach Jeff Doolan said goalie Dan Valente, who had 17 saves, is playing as well, if not better, than any goalie in the state right now.

"It was obviously a little frustrating because I felt we were the better team and we had way more quality chances than they did," Doolan said. "But that's how the game goes sometimes."

Mount Hebron, undefeated in county play, meets Centennial tonight at UMBC in a matchup of two of the top teams in the league.

"It's going to be a big one," Doolan said. "There's always a big rivalry between our teams. It should be a good one."

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