Chesapeake makes an about-face, 8-4

No. 7 Eagles capitalize on No. 10 Old Mill miscues

Softball

High Schools

March 30, 2004|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

After a tough loss to Chesapeake on Friday, the Northeast softball team talked about the need to show more character in its play.

Given the opportunity yesterday at No. 10 Old Mill, the No. 7 Eagles made the most of the chance. With All-Metro pitcher Ashley Gray out of the lineup with a nagging injury, Lauren Hart stepped in and stepped up - overcoming a rocky first inning to lead the Eagles to an 8-4 win in Millersville.

After yielding a three-run homer to Patriots starting pitcher Heather Enders in the first inning, Hart allowed only one run and two hits the rest of the way as the Eagles offense pounded out 12 hits to win going away.

"At practice on Saturday morning, we talked about defining what our goals are and making sure the kids don't let up any when there's adversity," said Northeast coach Marianne Shultz. "The kids knew they had to step up and fill spaces [catcher Rachelle Wedell also was out injured] and they did so tremendously. It was like night and day from Friday's loss."

The Eagles (2-1) constantly put the ball in play, were resourceful on the bases and made the most of four Old Mill errors.

Center fielder Lee Ann Raber, hitting third for the Eagles, executed a sacrifice bunt in the first that helped bring in two runs, reached on an error and scored in the third and led off two later innings with singles and scored each time.

Taking a 5-4 lead into the seventh, the Eagles scored three to break the game open - Hart's sharp single to left scoring two. It was the ideal end to her day's work on the mound.

"I was really nervous in the beginning, but was able to calm down by the end," said Hart, who will be a planned spot starter for the Eagles throughout the season. "After losing to Chesapeake, we wanted to pick it up a little and we did that."

Carolyn Jenkins, who singled and doubled, scored two runs and drove in one, filled in admirably behind the plate. With the Eagles leading 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth, she threw out Danielle Ziegler trying to steal second. Ziegler twisted an ankle on the play and had to leave the game.

"We came in thinking it was our day and we felt like we had the right combination in the lineup, but that's why the games are played," said Old Mill coach Steve Morgan, whose Patriots fell to 1-2. "We had a bad day of communication, but we know we're capable of playing good ball and it's early in the season."

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