Top-ranked N. County too much for Arundel

Mullins pitches Knights to 4-1 victory, 7-0 record

Softball

April 15, 2003|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

It seemed North County sophomore pitcher Beth Mullins and the No. 1 Knights were a little offended by the fact they were down a run early yesterday at Arundel.

The remedy to the one run allowed in the first inning? A three-run answer in the top of the second, followed by strong pitching from Mullins and sound defense. It all added up to a 4-1 win over the Wildcats, as the Knights remained undefeated at 7-0.

The bottom of the order provided much of the offensive punch, with Hannah Karaszkiewicz taking the lead. Hitting ninth, the sophomore center fielder drove in the first run with a single that touched the third-base foul line. She also scored in the pivotal second inning and ended up going 2-for-3 with a walk.

"It's nice to see because as a freshman last year, she didn't get a lot of playing time. She played good defense, but her bat kept her out of the lineup. She worked hard in the winter and has done real well so far," said North County coach Bobby Boyd.

A 3-1 lead was more than enough for Mullins, who used a timely slow change to complement her fastball and keep the Wildcats puzzled all game. Improving to 6-0, she struck out 11, didn't allow any runners past second base after the first inning and retired the side in order on three occasions.

Arundel second-year coach Katie Warren is a former high school pitcher, but she could offer little advice to her team, which was overmatched by Mullins.

"Her change is incredible," Warren said. "I've seen some like it. But her timing is so good. Basically, you just have to keep your head in and try to time the ball.

"I thought we played really well, though - 4-1 against North County isn't bad. Last year, we lost to them by the 10-run rule."

The Wildcats, with standout pitcher Jessica Sinkule out for the remainder of the season with a leg injury, fell to 5-4. Kristi Forrester has pitched well in her absence, and she yielded five hits and retired the last seven batters yesterday.

North County got a strong day at the plate from third baseman Amanda Baldwin, who went 2-for-2, walked, was hit by a pitch and scored the Knights' last run in the fourth inning.

The Knights will take on No. 7 Severna Park tomorrow before testing their No. 1 ranking at the Cavalier Classic at Spalding on Saturday.

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