Atholton rallies late to slip past Howard

Raiders score four runs in 6th inning to win, 5-2

Atholton improves to 8-1

Softball

High Schools

April 22, 2004|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

At this rate, the "A" in the Atholton softball team could stand for "artificial resuscitation."

Twenty-four hours after scoring six runs in the top of the ninth inning to defeat River Hill in extra innings, the Raiders scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to deliver a 5-2 victory over visiting Howard yesterday.

With the win, Atholton improved to 8-1 overall and in the county and stayed percentage points ahead of third place Mount Hebron (8-1, 7-1) in the quest for the county championship.

But senior right fielder Emily Stivers knows the Raiders can't continue to rely on rallies.

"We have to learn not to wait so long because the pressure does build a lot," she said. "But we also learned that it takes a lot to get us down on ourselves."

Atholton trailed for first five innings, but found its rhythm against junior right-hander Jessie O'Neill (5-4) in the sixth.

Stivers opened the inning by smacking a double that nicked the glove of senior center fielder Jesse Medairy.

An error moved runners to the corners before senior left fielder Julia Reynold singled to right field to drive in Stivers and tie the score 2-2.

Sophomore Virginia Bach drove a grounder to Howard sophomore shortstop Samantha Rice, who alertly threw to junior catcher Christina Krutzsch to tag out senior Allie Scott.

But Scott slid under and avoided Krutzsch's tag, giving Atholton a 3-2 lead. Another error allowed Reynold to score, and senior second baseman Meaghan Murphy singled home Bach to complete the scoring.

The Lions (5-4, 5-4) opened the game with runs in the first and second innings. as they posted four hits off senior right-hander Kelly Halstead.

But Halstead settled down, retiring 15 of the final 17 Howard batters and allowing just an infield single.

"I always get more comfortable as the game goes on," said Halstead, who struck out five and improved her record to 4-0. "Obviously, it bothers me a little bit because I want to do well, but I thought I did pretty well overall."

Lions junior right fielder Ashley Rentko singled and walked in two of her three at-bats and scored once, while O'Neill struck out five.

But Howard coach Dave Vezzi said the team picked the wrong inning to commit its only two errors of the game.

"We gave them more than three outs in the sixth, and you can't give a good team more than three outs," he said. "You've got to give them credit. They hit the ball in that inning."

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