Franklin maintains upper hand in county

Luers' 5 strong innings help to stop Dulaney, 6-3

Softball

High Schools

April 24, 2001|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Franklin coach Rick Wiscott says there's more parity in the Baltimore County public league than in previous seasons. And while the gap has closed between the perennially strong Indians and the rest of the county, they still remain ahead of the pack.

The defending county co-champ Indians held off visiting Dulaney, 6-3, yesterday to maintain their position atop the county Division I standings.

Franklin (6-3, 6-1), whose only league loss was a 4-3 extra-inning decision to Eastern Tech, received five scoreless innings from junior C.J. Luers and enjoyed a four-run fourth inning to gain command.

The Lions (5-5, 5-4) made things interesting in the final inning with two runs and had the potential tying run at the plate before Lauren Heagey flew out to Indians left fielder Rihannon Staub to secure the decision. Franklin won the previous meeting, 4-3, several weeks ago.

"We are rebuilding. We have two seniors, so it's natural to feel that we're down a little," said Wiscott, whose team reached the state 3A semifinals last spring. "My juniors have been solid and I've a lot of confidence in them."

With seven underclassmen including two freshman in the starting lineup, Franklin is probably more vulnerable than in any time over the last several years. But the Indians haven't shown visible signs that they won't be playing again for the county championship next month.

While Luers (6-3) struck out four and allowed one walk over her five innings of work, junior right fielder/catcher Nikki Patton drove in two runs. Senior co-captain Annie Wong says the Indians are thriving on the thought that they're beatable.

"They said the same thing last year after we lost several all-county players. We weren't expected to do as well," said Wong, whose team lost a pair of All-City/County performers in Jen Fried (Hood College) and Jamie Widerman (Villa Julie). "We came back and won regionals. They weren't expecting to do this well this year, and we're proving everyone wrong."

Junior shortstop Suzie Gill got the Indians' four-run uprising in motion with a bases-loaded single, scoring Wendy Stahl. Reisa Gall beat a tag from Lions catcher Megan Souchak after a wild pitch, then Patton brought in Staub with another bases-loaded single.

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