Purcell producing in leadership role

Severna Park sophomore makes smooth transition to shortstop, leading off


High Schools

April 27, 2004|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The defending Class 3A state champion Severna Park softball team had one obvious question going into the season.

"How do you replace your emotional leader, your leader of the infield at shortstop and your leadoff hitter?" said coach Jeff Shepherd, referring to graduated All-Metro Player of the Year Lauren Haag.

It turns out, the No. 3 Falcons (11-1) didn't have to look very far. Sophomore Katie Purcell has made a smooth adjustment from second base to shortstop as well as batting at the top of the order after hitting fifth last season.

"I don't think anybody can fill the shoes Lauren left, so I'm just trying hard for the team and doing the best I can," said Purcell, who is hitting .375 with eight RBIs and 11 runs.

Purcell says she likes leading off because it lets her see opposing pitchers more often and, aside from the longer throws to first, playing at shortstop hasn't been a difficult change.

"Although Katie's only a sophomore, I was confident and comfortable asking her to step up and she has. She always seems to come up with the clutch hit and has always been a solid fielder," said Shepherd.

And talk about making an impressive first impression. Purcell hit the first pitch of the season for a double against Glenelg that ignited a four-run rally in a 9-0 win.

Yesterday's rain postponed the Falcons' showdown against No. 1 Chesapeake, with the make-up date set for 4 p.m. Thursday at Severna Park.

Softball postponed

The idea to have a softball showcase at Bachman Sports Complex in Glen Burnie is a good one, if only Mother Nature would cooperate.

A full slate of county games set to be played at Bachman on Friday was postponed due to the rain.

Only three games can be played there on today's makeup date: Glen Burnie will take on No. 1 Chesapeake; Annapolis faces Arundel; and Southern meets Severna Park with all games slated for 6:30 p.m.

Bachman had another full slate of county games scheduled earlier in the season that was canceled due to the weather.

Girls lacrosse race

In girls lacrosse, Severna Park has appeared in seven straight county championship games and won five, including the past two.

Could this be the year the No. 7 Falcons find themselves on the outside looking in?

Defending Class 4A-3A state champ Broadneck (8-2, 7-0 in the county) has a strong hold on one berth in the title game with a 12-11 overtime win against the Falcons (8-1, 7-1) last Tuesday.

No. 11 South River (7-1, 7-0) has an opportunity to take control of the second spot with a win over the Falcons tonight at Severna Park.

Broadneck still has to travel to South River on May 4.

Sisters perfect

When Dulaney freshman Katie Moelter pitched a perfect game against Milford Mill Thursday, her big sister Sarah Moelter bragged about it to all her friends.

Then Sarah went out the next day and threw a perfect game at Dundalk.

"It was kind of cool that we got back-to-back perfect games," said Katie. "I know how hard it is to get just one."

Sarah, a sophomore, agreed their feat was rare.

"A perfect game means nobody reaches base, so even an error messes it up," she said. "My teammates really helped me, because there were some close plays, but they got the people out."

Sarah's perfect game came in a six-inning, 12-0 win over Dundalk, and Katie's in a five-inning, 18-0 win over Milford Mill.

In their first season on varsity, the sisters, who have been pitching since they were 11 or 12 years old, stepped in after the Lions graduated two pitchers from a 2003 state Class 4A semifinalist team.

"They are very similar pitchers," said Dulaney softball coach Lori Ryan. "Their dad taught them to pitch, and he spends a lot of time with them. One thing that stands out in my mind is that very rarely do you see a wild pitch from either one."

Katie (4-0) has an ERA of 0.70 with 27 strikeouts in 20 innings. Sarah (3-2) has a 1.53 ERA and has struck out 29 batters in 32 innings.

Their efforts have helped No. 11 Dulaney to a 7-2 overall record. In Baltimore County's 4A/3A Division, the Lions are 6-1, having lost only to No. 8 Catonsville, the defending county champ.

Foresters forfeit

Forest Park, one of the city's richest boys lacrosse traditions, has had to drop its program for the season and will forfeit the remainder of its games due to a lack of numbers.

Athletic director Obie Barnes said only eight players were in uniform for last Wednesday's game against Patterson, which the Foresters lost by forfeit. They were 0-7 at the time.

"To not have lacrosse at Forest Park is unheard of," Barnes said. "It's devastating."

Sun staff writers Katherine Dunn and Lem Satterfield contributed to this article.

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