C.M. Wright squeezes out another win

Mustangs' play in 8th tops No. 10 Fallston, 3-2

Softball

April 06, 2002|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

All-Metro pitcher Laura Siler and three other starters have graduated, and there are five sophomores in the starting lineup, but the C. Milton Wright softball team is still finding ways to win.

At home against No. 10 Fallston yesterday, the five-time defending Harford County-champion Mustangs used a squeeze play in the bottom of the eighth to push across the winning run in a 3-2 victory.

Earlier this week, unranked C. Milton Wright scored four unearned runs to knock off No. 1 Westminster, 6-2, and needed nine innings to edge Havre de Grace, 5-4.

"We've been doing the little things," said C. M. Wright coach Joe Dunch. "And hopefully, little things will take us big places."

Jenn Eckels laid down the bunt on the squeeze play and had two hits, Megan Ellzy hit a two-run homer in the first inning and sophomore pitcher Laura Canton turned in a gutsy performance for the Mustangs (6-1, 4-0 Harford County).

Fallston (3-1, 2-1) outhit its opponent, 10-6, and placed nine runners in scoring position, but Canton repeatedly managed to pitch her way out of jams.

The Mustangs scored the winning run without getting a hit. After Alicia Smith was placed at second base (in extra-inning games, the batter who makes the last out in the previous inning starts the next inning on second) and Ellzy was intentionally walked. Stacy McNamee then sacrificed the runners to second and third before Eckels executed the squeeze.

The Cougars, who shared the county championship with the Mustangs last season, were also resilient. Down to their final out and with no one on in the seventh, Kristen Petri (who had taken Allison Borchers' spot in the lineup after the catcher dislocated her right pinky finger in the third inning) reached on an error.

Kim Ziegler followed with an infield hit and Kristen Wells lined an RBI single to center to tie it at 2.

In the matchup of the county's top two teams, there was little margin for error, as Fallston found out.

Trailing 2-1 in the fourth, the Cougars had runners at second and third with one out. Amy Steiner, who had homered to lead off the third, then hit a sacrifice fly, and Lindsey Mueller crossed home plate standing up, just as the throw from right fielder Smith arrived and skidded past Eckels.

Instead of a tie game, however, the umpire called Mueller out, citing the rule that states a runner must slide in a play at the plate to avoid interference.

"That's a tough call, especially in a big game like this," said Fallston coach Wendy Selznick.

With runners at first and second and two out in the eighth, Brandi Burdick lined a shot down the left-field line that was barely foul. Canton then struck her out.

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