Franklin's Luers hits all the right spots with no-hit softball

Senior has 0.48 ERA, 6 shutouts, 79 strikeouts

High School

April 19, 2002|By Katherine Dunn and Lem Satterfield | Katherine Dunn and Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Softball pitchers don't often enjoy the kind of run Franklin's Chrissy Luers has been on for the past 11 days.

The Indians' right-hander has pitched three no-hitters in her last five games, all of which were shutouts. Her ERA has dropped to 0.48 as the No. 15-ranked Indians improved to 7-0.

"Early in the season, my arm's nice and fresh. I'm hitting all my spots and my pitches are working very well," said Luers, adding that "the teams we're playing right now aren't the toughest teams in the league."

Luers, a senior who is leaning toward attending Frostburg next fall, is tuning up well for the tougher competition. She has pitched six shutouts this season and has struck out 79 batters in 44 innings. Wednesday, she struck out nine in a five-inning 12-0 win over Western Tech.

"This year, she added the rise pitch and the drop, so she's a four-pitch pitcher instead of a two-pitch pitcher," said Indians coach Dave Turybury. "She throws hard. She tops out about 60 mph and she's only had five walks this year, which is a huge improvement over last year."

Luers also helps herself at the plate, where she is tied with shortstop Suzie Gill with a team-leading .556 batting average. Batting third with Gill as the leadoff hitter, Luers has 15 RBIs and a .760 on-base percentage.

She is looking forward to testing herself against more competitive teams, including No. 14 Eastern Tech Wednesday and No. 4 Westminster later in the season.

"Right now, we're not seeing the level of pitching we're going to see when we play Eastern Tech and Westminster," said Luers. "We can't wait to play them. We're going to have to go in there with our A game."

Walbrook winning

When Walbrook plays host to Patterson today in lacrosse, each will have 5-1 records - tied with Carver for the lead in the Baltimore City A Division. The Warriors are led by attackman Steven Hill (28 goals, 16 assists), midfielder Daron Lane (13, 13), defender Brandon Jackson and goalie Joseph Benjamin, who has scored 19 goals himself.

The winner of the contest will take over sole possession of first place, but each team has a remaining game against Carver to determine the league champ. Walbrook, of coach Anthony Ryan, went 12-0 in the B Division last year, but has moved up.

Lansdowne flash

In every game that Lansdowne's girls lacrosse team has won this season, Mandy Marino has outscored the opposition.

The senior midfielder scored 27 goals in the three wins, all of which came last week - 11-6 over Dundalk, 17-5 over Woodlawn and 13-6 over Carver A&T. She scored eight against Woodlawn and nine in each of the other two games.

"She's intense and she goes to goal," first-year Vikings coach Brian Layman said. "A lot of girls don't have that hunger, but every time she gets an opening, she goes and she doesn't stop."

Even in the losses, Marino has averaged 6.5 goals. She scored eight in Tuesday's 15-10 loss to Owings Mills.

Marino, who has 40 goals and four assists this season, is on pace to finish her career with more than 200 goals.

Polo teams come close

Last weekend, the Baltimore Polo Club won the consolation round of the U.S. Polo Association Interscholastic Eastern Regional competition, a qualifier for the USPA National Interscholastic Championship.

The team lost to host and eventual champ Valley Forge Military Academy, 17-10, before defeating Cowtown, N.J., in the consolation round.

Roland Park senior Olivia Stringer, who will continue to play at Colorado State University, earned her team's most valuable player honors. Stan Feldman, of Gilman, and Dan and Matt Lafferman, from McDonogh, round out the team.

Garrison Forest's polo team also fell short of reaching the nation championship, a tournament it won in 1998 becoming the first all-female team to take top honors since the tournament began in 1928.

Earlier this month, Lila Gaines, Amanda Kimball, Mary Taylor and Julie Nicholson won the consolation game of their national qualifier, the Southeastern Regional competition, at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

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