Errors doom Catonsville in 4-3 loss to Eastern Tech

Two-hit, 12-strikeout gem by freshman Fefel wasted


March 28, 2003|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Eastern Tech hitters were still trying to figure out how to hit Catonsville freshman pitcher Amanda Fefel after yesterday's Baltimore County softball game.

Fefel struck out 12 and handcuffed the visiting Mavericks, allowing two hits in eight innings.

Despite all of that, Fefel came away with a loss. Catonsville made costly mistakes and allowed Eastern Tech to manufacture runs and escape with a 4-3 victory in eight innings.

Fefel had struck out 22, helped throw a no-hitter and allowed just two hits in 10 innings in her first two varsity games.

She then shut down No. 13 Eastern Tech (2-0) in the rematch of last year's Class 2A North region final - also won by the Mavericks. Eastern Tech was hitless for the first 4 2/3 innings, got only three balls to the outfield and had trouble catching up with Fefel's heater.

"Amanda was great today," Catonsville coach Bill Nelson said. "Our defense made some good plays, but our defense let us down."

The Comets made some solid plays behind Fefel but finished with four errors. Two catcher's interference calls on Stephanie Prstac also proved costly, as did two passed balls, one putting the tying run on base in the fifth, the other allowing the game-winning run to score.

"We can only grow from this," Fefel said. "I think we gave 110 percent on every play."

Fefel (2-for-4) battled Eastern Tech's Tina Birchfield - an All-County pitcher last season - throughout.

Birchfield pitched a smart game, scattering 11 hits and wriggling out of trouble several times. She pitched around tough hitters throughout and gave up just one extra-base hit.

The Mavericks made several tough plays on defense and had only one error.

"The [win] means a lot," Birchfield said. "They're definitely one of the better teams."

Catonsville (2-1) took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on RBI singles by Kary Atkinson and Katie Keller. But the Mavericks tied it in the fourth thanks to the catcher's interference calls - on back-to-back batters - and an infield error.

Prstac gave the Comets a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth on a bases-loaded single.

But Eastern Tech tied it again in the fifth. Birchfield reached on a passed ball while striking out and later scored when Brittany Bohns broke up the no-hitter with an RBI single.

The Mavericks won it in the eighth. Kim Bloom started the inning at second base and went to third when Bohns was retired on a swinging bunt. Bloom then scored on a passed ball.

"I think they relaxed a little when they went up 2-0 because [Fefel] is tough to score on," Mavericks coach Dave Scrivener said of the Comets. "They couldn't turn it on after that."

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