Penniman delivers Glenelg to 6-5 victory over Hebron

She finally solves Kreis with 2-out, RBI hit in 7th


High Schools

March 23, 2004|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Liz Penniman's last at-bat proved to be the most significant one for Glenelg's softball team.

Penniman's RBI single that drove in Amanda Yanulevich in the bottom of the seventh - and final - inning lifted the No. 15 Gladiators to a 6-5 victory over visiting Mount Hebron in both teams' season opener yesterday.

On a chilly and blustery day that spoiled hope for a pitchers' duel between Vikings senior Karen Kreis and Gladiators senior Stephanie Sims, Penniman made the biggest statement with her bat.

Before her heroics, Penniman, a senior third baseman for the Gladiators, had come up empty in three at-bats against Kreis.

But with two outs in the seventh and Yanulevich standing on third base, Penniman jumped on Kreis' first offering and belted a line drive down the left-field line.

Mount Hebron senior Lauren Chell went airborne to catch the ball, but it fell out of her glove, and Yanulevich scored to end the game.

"I knew I could hit her," Penniman said of her battle with Kreis. "I said to myself, `I know I can do it, and I've got to do it.' So I did."

The win was Glenelg's 16th straight against county opponents. The reigning county champion Gladiators, who went 15-0 in the league last season, haven't dropped a game to a county rival since May 13, 2002, when Howard won a Class 2A West region quarterfinal, 7-2.

"Hopefully it stays this way the whole season," said Yanulevich, a junior second baseman who doubled in two runs and scored twice. "It's a lot of pressure, but everyone wants to win, and we want to keep it going."

Both Kreis (0-1) and Sims (1-0) struggled in non-springlike conditions that hampered their ability to grip the ball.

Besides the six runs, Kreis was tagged for five hits, and the Vikings' defense made three errors.

Sims, last spring's county Player of the Year, gave up five runs on five hits, while Glenelg committed five errors.

The Gladiators owned a two-run lead in the top of the seventh, but could not hold on to the advantage.

Mount Hebron senior first baseman Stacey Carroll pounded a one-out triple and eventually scored on a fielder's choice. After a second out and a walk to sophomore right fielder Natalie Wilson, Chell blooped a pop to shallow right field that Yanulevich could not hold on to, and Wilson scored from first base to tie the game at 5-5.

In the end, though, Glenelg persevered courtesy of four unearned runs, and that did not escape the notice of Vikings coach Sal Milio.

"We gave them too many outs," he said. "We can't give those runs away."

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