N. Carroll perseveres, 6-5

No. 8 Panthers rally twice, edge South Carroll on error in eighth inning

Softball

May 02, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Throughout this season, No. 8 North Carroll has continually come up with new ways to win.

Yesterday against No. 14 South Carroll, the host Panthers found one more.

After twice rallying from two-run deficits, North Carroll prevailed in the eighth when Jessica Pickard scored from second on an errant infield throw, giving the Hampstead team a 6-5 walk-off win.

In a game that was anything but pretty, featuring seven walks, four errors and 17 runners left on base, the bottom line was enough for Panthers coach Lloyd Ford.

"It was an ugly game ... but it was a win," Ford said. "It told them that it was a great way to come back, and come back twice."

With the victory, North Carroll (12-4 overall, 10-2 Central Maryland Conference, 4-1 county) - which has won 11 of 12 - took a step closer to earning at least a share of the county and CMC titles. The Panthers are tied in the county loss column with Westminster, and entered the day tied in the conference loss column with Frederick.

To win this one, however, the Panthers first needed to pull off a pair of comebacks.

After South Carroll (11-6, 6-5, 2-2) took a 2-0 lead in the first, taking advantage of a pair of walks by starter April Bauerlein with RBI singles by Jamie Hein and Megan Gorsuch, North Carroll came back to briefly take the lead with single runs in each of the first three innings off Cavaliers starter Jamie Janowich, who also ran into spurts of wildness.

Ashley Devilbiss, who went 3-for-4 on the day, delivered the go-ahead run with a single to right, the last of three straight hits in the inning.

In the fourth, however, South Carroll again got to Bauerlein, tying the game on Janowich's triple down the left-field line. Facing reliever Jessica Smith, the Cavaliers then added two more on a fielder's choice bunt and throwing error, to regain the lead, 5-3.

North Carroll then tied the game with two more runs in the fifth, on singles by Bauerlein and Pickard.

Smith, a freshman, was nearly flawless in relief of Bauerlein, no-hitting the Cavaliers over the final 4 2/3 innings, striking out six. The final three strikeouts came with a runner on third in the eighth.

"It's nice to have the opportunity to go to a second pitcher you have confidence in," Ford said.

The Panthers then scored the game-winner in the eighth when, after Pickard took second to begin the inning - a bonus granted both teams in extra innings - Abby Cannistraci fielded a grounder off the bat of Kristy Shaffer, but threw low to first, bouncing into foul ground and allowing Pickard to score.

"I don't think we were really that sharp today," South Carroll coach Charlie Fazenbaker said. "But playing a team like North Carroll and getting into the eighth inning, we have nothing to be ashamed of."

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