Again, Lutheran captures IAAM `B'

Null strikes out eight, goes 3-for-4 vs. St. Mary's, 10-3


May 12, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Any doubts coach Gary Barth may have had about his Lutheran softball team can be put to rest.

The No. 2 seed Saints captured their third consecutive Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference tournament crown by easily defeating top-seeded St. Mary's, 10-3, yesterday at Towson University.

Lutheran, which had claimed last year's title with a 20-0 mark and a championship victory over St. Mary's, finished the season with a 15-2 record.

"I don't know if we had as high expectations this year," Barth said. "But I figured that we still had the pitcher-catcher combination to take us a long way."

Namely, the pairing of senior catcher Alison Maier and senior pitcher Kelley Null proved masterful in their final game.

With Maier calling the shots behind the plate, Null struck out eight St. Mary's batters. Null also went 3-for-4 and scored once despite playing with a rib contusion that she suffered after Friday's 9-0 shutout of Bryn Mawr in the semifinals.

"It bothered me a lot, but there was nothing I could do about it," said Null, who improved to 11-1.

Junior Bethanne Hartman was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs scored.

St. Mary's (10-5) received an RBI double from junior Kristin Brendle and RBI singles from senior Tracy Kane and junior Laura Wills, but was victimized by seven errors.

"I haven't seen those errors all year," said St. Mary's coach Marilyn Sherrane.

C Conference

Senior Kelly Freitag was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored to pace top-seeded Maryvale to its first conference tournament championship with a 10-1 victory over Roland Park.

Sophomore Olivia Garrish reached base safely in three of four at-bats and scored all three times, and junior Melanie Rozek struck out five Reds batters and allowed just two hits en route to improving to 12-2.

"We've never had a team this good," Freitag said. "We've had the spirit. We just had to get the heart."

Second-year coach Tim Messina has resurrected a program that had just one win two seasons ago and was hidden in the shadows of Maryvale's dominant lacrosse tradition.

"Maryvale is a lacrosse school, but we had some players make the switch to softball," he said. "We just had to get them focused on softball."

The Reds (9-3) had edged 2001 champion Park in the semifinals, but could not avoid losing in the final for the second time in as many years.

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