With Roland pitching in, South Carroll cruises, 4-0

Sophomore strikes out 7 in win over Eastern Tech

Softball

High School

April 05, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

When the South Carroll softball team lost two of its top three pitchers before the first pitch of the season was thrown, coach Charlie Fazenbaker didn't panic.

He just turned the ball over to Becka Roland.

The sophomore right-hander justified her coach's faith in her by helping the visiting Cavaliers collect their second consecutive win against a ranked opponent in shutting out No. 9 Eastern Tech, 4-0, yesterday.

Roland, the winning pitcher in a 3-2 upset of No. 6 Northeast on Tuesday, struck out seven and scattered four hits in five innings as she improved to 3-1.

Senior Erin Pierorazio sealed the victory with two innings of scoreless relief.

The Cavaliers have won four straight games after dropping their season opener to then-No. 7 Severna Park.

"I was trying to work the corners, but it was mainly straight pitching because they weren't hitting," said Roland, who went 10-2 on the junior-varsity squad last season. "I think they had trouble catching up to my pitches."

Roland's emergence has been a blessing for pitching-wounded South Carroll (4-1). Senior Jamie Hein popped a vertebrae in her neck and has been relegated to a designated hitter role, and sophomore Lisa Heinrich will miss the season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

"Becka's here because everybody got hurt, but I've been real pleased with her pitching," Fazenbaker said. "She's still a developing pitcher, but I couldn't ask for more from her."

Roland's counterpart, junior Lauren Nagel, did not fare well in her first start for Eastern Tech.

After Hein drew a walk to open the second inning and a fielder's choice moved her to second base, a wild pitch by Nagel (0-1) allowed Hein to advance to third.

Junior Megan Gorsuch reached first base safely on a throwing error, which paved the way for Hein to cross the plate and give the Cavaliers a 1-0 lead.

After Nagel issued a walk to junior Loren Ackman, Roland laced a single to center field to drive in Gorsuch's courtesy runner, junior Amanda Laatsch.

The Mavericks (3-1), who hadn't played in nine days, showed their rust in the next two innings. With one out and Hein on third base in the third inning, sophomore reliever Tina Birchfield snagged a grounder from Gorsuch.

But rather than look toward third to keep Hein close to the bag, Birchfield calmly tossed the ball to first base. That gave Hein enough time to score and make it a 3-0 South Carroll advantage.

With two outs and Ackman on third base, Eastern Tech senior catcher Stephanie Weaver launched a throw back to Birchfield into center field. Ackman jogged home to complete the scoring.

Mavericks coach Dave Scrivener could only chuckle at his team's mistakes.

"Mentally, we were not ready to play," he said. "We can't have all those errors and expect to win."

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