Purcell gives voice to Severna Park's comeback

Bases-clearing double lifts No. 1 Falcons, 5-3

High Schools

April 17, 2004|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The top-ranked Severna Park softball team had a players-only meeting earlier in the week, talking about staying more emotionally involved throughout a game.

It proved as timely as shortstop Katie Purcell's double yesterday against visiting Old Mill.

Purcell found the gap in right-center field, driving three runners home in a four-run sixth inning to lead the Falcons to a come-from-behind 5-3 victory over the No. 12 Patriots.

Severna Park remained undefeated at 8-0, and Old Mill (4-4) dropped another close game against a higher- ranked team.

After the Patriots broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the top of the sixth, the Falcons didn't stay down for long, taking advantage of a couple of Old Mill miscues that enabled Purcell to do her thing with the clutch two-out double.

"We talked about bringing more inspiration, so we were all yelling and screaming and had some awesome hits," said Purcell, who also tripled and scored in the third. "In the sixth, I got a fastball right over the plate and whacked it. This really shows we can come through at any point and win."

The Falcons won without standout sophomore pitcher Kaila Jenkins throwing one of her better games. She struggled with her control throughout -- walking 12 (four intentionally to shortstop Danielle Ziegler) -- but still had the Falcons in a 1-1 game going into the sixth.

The big hit appeared to come in the top of the sixth, with Old Mill's Heather Enders connecting for a two-out, two-run triple to right to give the Patriots a 3-1 lead. But the Falcons answered with a rally started by catcher Erin O'Keefe's double down the third base line.

In Old Mill's seventh, Jenkins walked the first two Patriots before striking out three straight to finish with 12.

"That's what happens with good teams -- you can not always come out and play your best but still find a way to win games," said Severna Park coach Jeff Shepherd. "Kaila said to the team, `Thanks for picking me up today,' and they all said, `How many times have you won games for us?'"

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