Glenelg scores 7 in first, rolls past River Hill, 10-0


April 30, 2003|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Even before the first pitch was thrown, Chrissy Starcher had an inkling about her Glenelg softball team.

So when the No. 5 Gladiators scored seven runs in the first inning en route to a 10-0 throttling of visiting River Hill in a mercy rule-shortened, six-inning game in Glenelg, Starcher wasn't exactly stunned.

"We had a good warm-up before the game," the senior left fielder said. "I thought we'd do great today."

As the weather has heated up, so, too, have Glenelg's bats. The Gladiators - who remained atop the Howard County standings with an 11-0 overall record and a 10-0 county mark - collected 10 runs or more for the fourth time in their past five games.

The Hawks (9-4, 7-4) had surrendered just 17 runs this season before yesterday, but they had few answers for a Glenelg squad that is averaging 9.5 runs a game.

"I'm not surprised we put up seven runs in any inning," said Gladiators coach Cameron Rahnama, who called yesterday's 11-hit display one of the team's best. "It was pleasant to see, but we hit the ball hard today."

Glenelg batted around in the bottom of the first inning, registering four hits - including a two-run triple by junior third baseman Stephanie Sims - and taking advantage of two River Hill errors.

But after giving up a double to Gladiators junior catcher Karyn Curley to open the bottom of the second, Hawks junior pitcher Stephanie Haas (4-3) settled down and retired the next 10 batters.

Glenelg ended the game in the bottom of the sixth by recording five singles in seven at-bats to score the final three runs.

Starcher led the way by going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Curley went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run, and Sims went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run.

Senior pitcher Ashley Fowler scattered five hits to improve to 5-0, and relied on a sure-handed defense that forced River Hill into leaving eight runners on base.

"I trust my defense 110 percent of the time," said Fowler, who escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the top of the fourth inning with a force at home plate, a rundown between third base and home, and a liner. "I would not be afraid to play anybody with them behind me."

Hawks coach Dave Vitagliano said the first-inning deficit took momentum from his team.

"When they put a 7-spot up on the board, it kind of deflates you," he said. "In softball, you typically need three hits and a walk or something [to start a rally]. We were getting two, but we weren't getting that third one in."

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