O'Neill's no-hitter leads Howard by Wilde Lake, 9-0

Softball

High Schools

April 01, 2004|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

There's always time for a first. Just ask Howard pitcher Jessie O'Neill.

The junior right-hander recorded her first career no-hitter yesterday as she helped the visiting Lions blank Wilde Lake, 9-0, in Columbia.

O'Neill struck out 12 Wildecats and escaped run-threatening jams in the fifth and seventh innings.

O'Neill, who improved to 3-2, said she sacrificed velocity for location.

"Usually, I throw a lot faster," she said. "Today, I focused on throwing strikes."

O'Neill helped her own cause by bashing her second two-run home run in as many games in the first inning. O'Neill, who went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored, drove in freshman second baseman Kelly Reinhardt, who had opened the game with a single to left field.

Senior center fielder Jesse Medairy followed with a single to left and eventually scored on a fielder's choice to give Howard a 3-0 lead.

Medairy went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI as the Lions (3-2 overall and in the county) posted 10 hits against Wilde Lake junior right-hander Cindy Moe (1-3).

The Wildecats (1-3 overall and in the county) loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning, but O'Neill induced a force at home and a strikeout to end the threat.

Another Wilde Lake attempt in the seventh went for naught when junior catcher Christina Krutzsch secured a passed ball and fired a throw to O'Neill, who tagged out junior first baseman Lindsey Demetreon at home to end the game.

Wildecats coach Jerry Keith said of O'Neill: "She threw where we couldn't hit it. ... She's a very good pitcher."

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