N. Carroll breaks through, 1-0

Honkofsky's double, run beats Frederick, Warden

Softball

High Schools

April 11, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

For the vast majority of yesterday's game, Frederick pitcher Candy Warden used her blazing fastball and precise location to overmatch host North Carroll.

But with just one swing of the bat, sophomore Allie Honkofsky made Warden's two-hit, 13-strikeout performance go for naught, doubling to the gap in right-center and two batters later scoring the game's only run in a 1-0 victory.

"I just waited for my pitch and I went for it," Honkofsky said.

"One mistake ... what can you do?" said Frederick coach Randy Steiner. "They put it together one time and we couldn't put it together. That's what cost us the game. They were able to get that one run across."

After Warden retired North Carroll's first 12 hitters in order, including the first six by strikeout, Honkofsky led off the fifth inning by driving an outside curve into the gap. She took third on Lisa Worden's sacrifice bunt and scored on a squeeze bunt by Ashley Devilbiss.

Frederick (4-2, 3-1 Central Maryland Conference) also had its share of opportunities, managing four hits in 4 1/3 innings off starter Tara Lowder. Three times, however, the Cadets were unable to score after advancing a runner to second.

Two of their biggest threats came in the first and fifth, each time having runners on first and second with one out. In the first, however, Lowder got Warden to pop up and struck out Lolli Mills. In the fifth, reliever Jessica Smith got Julie Pallansch and Joyce Tsikerdanos to ground out.

Smith retired all eight batters she faced to earn the win.

It was one of the top performances this season by Warden, a three-time first-team All-Area selection by The Frederick News-Post. On this day, however, it wasn't enough.

"Candy's as tough a pitcher as you'll see," said North Carroll coach Lloyd Ford. "It's a matter of making the most of an opportunity when you get one. I told them after the first two innings, after six straight strikeouts, `I don't care if she strikes out 21. We've got to get a bat on the ball and make something happen.' "

After opening their conference schedule last week with a tough one-run loss to defending Class 4A state champion Westminster, and losing three of their first six overall, the Panthers (4-3, 2-1) needed a break.

Besides a notch in the win column, yesterday's game also succeeded in giving the Hampstead team something else it was craving - a dose of confidence.

"After seeing that pitcher, we know what we can handle," Honkofsky said.

Said Ford: "We're headed in the right direction, I think."

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