Howard captures another close one, 2-0

Lions edge Wilde Lake, remain tied for first

High Schools

April 24, 2001|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

Howard's surprising climb to the top of the county softball standings can be attributed to strong pitching, solid defense and the close bond between its players.

One more thing. The Lions win the close ones.

Seven of Howard's 10 victories this season have been by two runs or less, including yesterday's 2-0 victory against visiting Wilde Lake.

"Against good teams we haven't scored a lot of runs," said Howard coach Dave Vezzi, "but we keep winning them."

Howard junior pitcher Kristen Gormus allowed two Wilde Lake singles - the first coming in the fifth inning - and stuck out five. Howard's defense, which received a nice running catch by right fielder Kellie Freiert in the sixth inning to rob Megan Lucks of a hit, was flawless. And the ninth-ranked Lions (10-1 overall, 10-1 league) used an unearned run in the third and an RBI double from sophomore third baseman Tee Dronenburg in the fifth for their margin of victory.

"We know we're a good team," said Vezzi, whose team left six players in scoring position against the Wildecats (9-4, 8-3). "We know if we don't make errors we're in every ball game. The kids have a lot of confidence in themselves."

They also enjoying playing together.

"Last year [11-10 overall, 9-9 league] we had a lot of talent, but this year we've come together a lot more," said Gormus.

Added Dronenburg, who has hit safely in every game this season: "Something is just clicking this season. It's so much fun."

The Lions, who start two seniors, three juniors and four sophomores, are tied for first in the county with two-time defending champion Atholton (12-1, 10-1). But they'll have to play tomorrow's game at Glenelg and Friday's contest against visiting Oakland Mills without three starters.

Gormus, Dronenburg and starting center fielder Megan Allen were scheduled to leave this morning for Anaheim, Calif., as part of a group of 19 Howard High business students attending a DECA national conference.

"I didn't know we'd be 10-1 when I was leaving," said Dronenburg with a smile. "But we all have confidence in each other and I know they'll do fine."

Sophomore Randi Grantham, who pitched last season on the junior varsity, will take over for Gormus.

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