North County has blast of a time

10 hits top Roosevelt, 12-6

2nd title in three seasons

Class 4A state softball

High Schools

May 24, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

When it comes to playing for state championships, the North County softball team is batting 1.000.

The second-ranked Knights captured their second Class 4A title in as many attempts by warding off Eleanor Roosevelt, 12-6, last night at Randazzo Park in Severn.

North County, which won the crown two years ago under former coach Brian Love, concluded its season at 21-5.

Senior Brittany Boyd was also a member of the 2000 squad, which brought home the program's first state championship.

"Both times, I was lucky enough to be on the team as a starter," said Boyd, who was 3-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored. "It's a great feeling."

Riding a wave of hits that helped the Knights of Anne Arundel County score 48 runs in five playoff games, they got eight runs in the final three innings to break a 4-4 tie. They finished with 10 hits.

North County's bats took pressure off freshman pitcher Beth Mullins, who struck out 10 and finished with a 14-2 record despite giving up an uncharacteristic four runs in the first three innings.

"Our hitting is really lifting us," said Mullins. "I know that when we get down in runs, our hitting is going to bring us back up."

The Raiders, the South regional titlists from Prince George's County, showed they were a far different team from the one that fell two years ago to the Knights, 12-0, in five innings.

With two outs and runners on second and third base in the top of the first inning, senior Jamie Zanelotti blasted Mullins' first pitch into deep left field for a three-run home run.

But North County scored four runs in its half of the inning to take the lead. Boyd's one-out double to left drove in two runs, and a Roosevelt fielding error scored two more runners.

Raiders junior Tiffany Smith (3-for-4) knocked in the first of her three RBIs with a single in the third, tying the score at four.

The Knights reclaimed the lead with a three-run fourth inning. RBI triples by senior Heather Frye and Boyd and a subsequent score on a misplayed relay throw chased Roosevelt junior pitcher Amanda Ivy (8-3).

Smith drove in two more runs in the fifth with another single, but the Raiders committed two errors in the bottom of the inning that led to North County scoring one run for an 8-6 lead.

Finally, Frye sealed the outcome with two outs in the sixth by drilling a bases-loaded double down the left-field line.

Three runs scored, and Frye (2-for-4 with five RBIs and two runs scored) also crossed the plate on a fielding error.

For Knights second-year coach Bobby Boyd, the hot bats proved timely as North County committed two errors that contributed to three of Roosevelt's runs.

"Up to this point, we had played near flawless defense, but we did not do that today," said Bobby Boyd, Brittany's father. "We had to have our sticks come through for us today."

Raiders coach Billy Hunter said he knew his team would have to "play perfect" to defeat the Knights.

"They probably hit the ball better than anybody we've played all season," Hunter said. "They play in a big county and they're a good team. ... That probably made the difference."

R 301 020 0 - 6 9 7

NC 400 314 x - 12 10 2 Ivy, Hungate (5) and Smith; Mullins and Martinez. 2B: NC-Boyd, Martinez, Frye. 3B: NC-Frye, Boyd. HR: R-Zanelotti.

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