Slater leads Glen Burnie to upset

Senior's pitching, 3 hits topple No. 2 N. County, 5-3


High Schools

April 29, 2004|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Glen Burnie's softball team has been on the outside looking in all season, peeking in the whole time.

But against No. 2 North County yesterday, the Gophers found a new view.

With a four-run third inning, strong pitching from senior Beth Slater and sound defense, the Gophers surprised the defending two-time Class 4A state champion Knights, 5-3, in Glen Burnie.

Slater, who went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and one driven in, allowed six hits on the mound, working her way out of a seventh-inning jam.

She got a win the Gophers (7-6, 5-5 in Anne Arundel County) can build on with the playoffs nearing. The Knights fell to 9-3 overall and 8-2 in county play.

"People are starting to realize we're not some young team that can't compete with the other big teams in the county," said Slater. "Everybody has stepped up, and we're all confident. We've come a long way, but we're not done yet."

Glen Burnie coach Bob Broccolino said his team found a positive spin to a difficult, 5-4, eight-inning loss to No. 1 Chesapeake on Tuesday, one that clearly carried over to yesterday.

In the bottom of the third inning yesterday, the Gophers had two runners with two outs when Slater lined a run-scoring single to center for a 1-0 lead. Run-scoring singles from Kelly Leary and Jessica Richards and an infield error built a 4-0 lead. The Gophers made it 5-0 in the fifth, when Holly Ross drove in Slater with a single.

North County rallied with two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh, but Richards at third made a nice play and a long throw across the diamond to get Amanda Baldwin with the tying run on.

"We're starting to believe we can do this," said Broccolino, who cited another tough, 7-6 loss to No. 10 Northeast a few weeks back as a spark. "We're just playing as hard as we can, and every game, we know we can win, but we know every game will be a dogfight."

North County coach Bobby Boyd, whose Knights are now third in the county behind Chesapeake and No. 3 Severna Park, said his team looks a little behind schedule. As for yesterday's game, he was quick to credit Glen Burnie.

"We got four runs down and were fighting from behind again. I thought the kids battled back. We put the ball in play. [Glen Burnie] just made the plays," he said. "We're much more of a work in progress than I thought we'd be at this point, but I think we'll be OK, and the girls always seem to step up their play come playoff time."

Danielle Martinez and Hannah Karaszkiewicz each had two singles and a run scored to lead the Knights.

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