One-run difference is striking in softball

Early season competition proves tight, low-scoring

Notebook

High Schools

April 04, 2003|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

One run.

In the first two weeks of the county's softball season, that's been the difference more times than not among the county's four ranked teams in the North Division.

No. 1 Chesapeake, No. 2 North County, No. 4 Glen Burnie and No. 11 Northeast already have played six games that went either 1-0 or 2-1.

Surprisingly, North County, young but resourceful, has come away on the right side of the close ball games, beating Northeast and Chesapeake by 2-1 counts and edging up-and-coming Old Mill, 4-3.

The defending Class 4A champion Knights (5-0) are off to the start third-year coach Bobby Boyd set out as a goal when he first started.

"For us, as young as we are at certain positions, it's huge. And in those games, it's been our younger kids that have provided the runs for us," Boyd said.

Glen Burnie (2-3) has been on the wrong side of one-run games on two occasions; Northeast is 1-2 and Chesapeake is 2-1 against ranked foes.

The tight, low-scoring games put more of a premium on pitching and there are plenty of strong throwers in the county, led by North County sophomore Beth Mullins, Northeast junior Ashley Gray, Chesapeake senior Lindsay Ettinger and Glen Burnie's Beth Slater.

Hits and runs will continue to be well-earned this season.

Tough-luck Patriots

One-run games aren't a pleasant subject with Old Mill coach Steve Morgan these days.

His Patriots are the best 1-4 team in the area, and that mark could easily be reversed.

In their tough-luck early part of the season, the Patriots had a 3-0 lead on North County before falling, 4-3, in eight innings; a two-run lead on Northeast before losing, 3-2, on Wednesday; and a 2-1 setback to the Cougars in the opening week.

With a deep pitching staff led by senior Jenn Clarke and sophomore Dawn Artman and an offense that can score runs, Morgan believes it's just a matter of time before things turn around.

"I've been telling the kids, you don't go to the playoffs in March and April. We're a good quality ballclub who's had some bad breaks. Eventually, we'll get on a run, and then watch out," he said.

The program's future also looks promising with the JV team off to a 5-0 start.

Worth the wait

The Arundel girls lacrosse team needed to put in extra time Tuesday at Southern, but it was time well spent.

The Wildcats (1-1) needed overtime to overcome an early six-goal deficit, getting a sudden-death goal from Kristin Sann for an 11-10 win over the Bulldogs. Sann led the comeback with four goals and two assists.

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