Oakland Mills gets untracked with softball win over L. Reach

Scorps follow up victory with solid play vs. Bears

Notebook

High School

May 07, 2002|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

There wasn't a monkey on the back of Oakland Mills' softball team this year. It was more like a gorilla.

Coming into Friday's game against Long Reach, the Scorpions had lost 45 consecutive games, a streak that spanned more than two years. Morale was low, frustration was high, and it seemed there was no end in sight for the dubious streak.

But that all changed after seven glorious innings against the Lightning, as the Scorpions scratched and clawed their way to a 5-3 win.

"It felt really, really good to get it done," said Oakland Mills coach Jon Browne. "It was a complete team effort. I'm really proud of our team. They deserved it."

As if that wasn't enough, Oakland Mills nearly started a winning streak, jumping out to a 6-0 lead on Hammond yesterday before the Bears rallied to win, 8-6.

"They just kept pecking away at us today, and we had a few errors that cost us," Browne said. "But I have no doubt that we've got more confidence. It's amazing what a win can do for your team."

That's something Browne hasn't been able to say for a long time. Oakland Mills didn't play a perfect game against Long Reach, but the Scorpions played their best in a long time, which was all that mattered.

"When Long Reach beat us the first time, they got together in a circle to celebrate and shouted, `Winners,' " Browne said. "That really rubbed us the wrong way. I told the girls to remember that when it happened, and we used it as motivation this time around."

Sophomore Kristen Groves started the game and earned the win, but freshman Patricia Maestas (just recently moved up from JV) pitched three key innings in middle relief, and senior Megan Buppert pitched the final two innings to close out the victory.

"It started out a little shaky for us," Browne said. "We walked the first five batters of the game, but they didn't score because our catcher, Bonnie Rosenberg, picked off a couple runners.

"It was a thrill for everybody," Browne said. "We're just going to try and finish out the season strong and look to the playoffs. You never know what can happen in the 1A, so maybe our momentum will carry over."

Oakland Mills, which drew a first-round bye in the 1A South region, will face Brunswick in its opening game.

Tennis

The Howard County tennis championships begin tomorrow and run through Saturday at the Wilde Lake Tennis Club. River Hill's Britt Boras is the defending singles champions on the boys side, while Glenelg's Marianne Baker will defend the girls singles title.

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