With 3 in 7th, N. County stops No. 1 Severna Park

Falcons lose 2-0 lead, take first loss this season, 3-2

Softball

High Schools

April 22, 2004|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

For Class 4A state champion North County, the thought of losing two games in two days - as many as the Knights lost all last season - obviously didn't sit well in the bottom of the seventh inning yesterday against top-ranked, unbeaten Severna Park.

Trailing 2-0, the No. 3 Knights found the determination that produced a 3-2 victory over the 3A state champion Falcons (10-1).

The inning started with outfielder Angela Olecski fouling off four straight pitches before walking, and it ended with catcher Danielle Martinez driving in the winning run with a sharp single to left field with one out.

"It showed heart," said North County coach Bobby Boyd, whose Knights improved to 9-2 on the season. "We had a little magic working last year, where we'd never give up and be able to come back in the later innings. This was the first time we did that this year. It's a big win, especially to come back after the game yesterday," a 3-2 loss at No. 2 Chesapeake of Anne Arundel.

Severna Park was holding onto a 2-0 lead it built in the first inning off consecutive run-scoring singles from pitcher Kaila Jenkins and catcher Erin O'Keefe. The Falcons appeared to be on their way after Jenkins got out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth.

But the Knights had other ideas for their half of the seventh inning, and the bottom of the lineup proved resourceful to give their big hitters the chance to make the difference.

After Olecski reached on the walk, pinch hitter Toni Evans singled up the middle. Another pinch hitter, Hannah Karaszkiewicz, bunted the runners to second and third, and then Olecski scored when leadoff hitter Brittany McKenzie reached on a fielder's choice grounder to short.

Jamie Buchheit hit a bloop single to center to score Evans, and then Martinez jumped on Jenkins' rise ball to provide the game-winner.

Martinez reached base all four times she went to the plate - two walks and two singles. Junior pitcher Beth Mullins got the win, giving up five hits and striking out nine. Jenkins, who went 2-for-3 with two singles and a sacrifice bunt, finished with 10 strikeouts.

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