E. Tech fights on, wins Balto. Co. title in eighth

Mavs' two runs in inning defeat No. 9 Franklin, 4-3


High Schools

May 09, 2002|By Cara Gitlin | Cara Gitlin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Eastern Tech softball team spent 7 1/2 innings of its Baltimore County championship game against No. 9 Franklin playing catch-up.

But once the host Mavericks got to the eighth, they scored twice to take the lead for the first time, at the only moment it really counted, and won, 4-3.

Franklin (15-2) held the lead three times, but it all came down to the final play in extra innings. Unranked Eastern Tech (15-5) came to bat in the eighth down 3-2 after Franklin designated hitter Elizabeth Haines had just driven in the go-ahead run in the top of the inning.

According to league rules governing extra-inning games, Erika Stimmel was on second base to start the eighth, having made the last out of the previous inning. Leadoff hitter Angela Romeo singled to left to move Stimmel to third.

Pitcher Tina Birchfield then bunted, and with no one out, Franklin opted to take the out at first and let the tying run score. The next batter, Tracey Blackwell, also bunted and sacrificed Romeo to third.

Shortstop Kim Bloom then came to the plate with two outs and hit a hard ground ball to the left side of the infield. Franklin third baseman Katrin O'Neill bobbled the ball, allowing Romeo to score the winning run.

Franklin, which won its first 15 games, suffered its second loss in as many days. The Indians lost to No. 10 Westminster, 7-0, on Tuesday.

"This game did wonders for us mentally," said Eastern Tech coach Dave Scrivener.

The last time these teams met, on April 24, Franklin came away with a 9-1 victory. In that game, Franklin scored seven runs in one inning, which was Birchfield's "one bad inning this year," Scrivener said.

Yesterday, Birchfield gave up 10 hits and threw more pitches than her counterpart, Chrissy Luers, but did record eight strikeouts.

"I knew this was going to be the biggest game," Birchfield said.

Birchfield also had a hit and an RBI, driving in Stimmel with two outs in the fifth with a single to center.

Luers had held Eastern Tech hitless until Stimmel's first hit with two outs in the third. For the game, Luers gave up just six hits and walked two. Both walks came in the fourth when Eastern Tech tied the score at 1-1.

Franklin retook the lead at 2-1 in the fifth. First baseman Wendy Stahl singled to center with one out and took second after center fielder Julie Johnson let the ball roll under her glove. After fouling off four pitches in a row, Luers walked on a full count. The next batter, catcher Nikki Patton, hit a bloop single down the left-field line to score Stahl.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.