Zinkand lifts Mt. de Sales past IND for A crown, 3-0

Senior hits 2-run homer

Criss pitches three-hitter

IAAM softball

High Schools

May 16, 2004|By Brendan Glaccum | Brendan Glaccum,SUN STAFF

Mount de Sales senior second baseman Jamie Zinkand said she knew when she woke up yesterday that the fourth-seeded Sailors were going to win the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship. Later that day, her two-run home run in the second inning helped her prediction become reality.

The Sailors, behind Zinkand's homer and seven masterful innings from senior pitcher Amber Criss, avenged two regular-season losses to No. 9 Institute of Notre Dame and captured the championship, 3-0, over the second-seeded Indians at McDonogh.

"We're a young ballclub," Mount de Sales coach Pete Waskiewicz said. "We had to play games to get everyone jelling together. Everyone got confident in each other and played very well together the last five games of the season."

The victory was the Sailors' fifth in a row and capped a remarkable tournament in which they surrendered a single run and shut out the top two seeds - IND yesterday and top-seeded Pallotti in Thursday's semifinal. They finished the season 12-8, 10-7 in league play, and had at least one win over every league team.

"[Beating] Pallotti felt like a championship because there was so much pressure because we had lost to them twice," Zinkand said. "And then to come here today and beat [IND] who we had lost to twice. I knew we weren't going to get beaten by a team three times in one season."

Criss surrendered three hits, walked none and struck out four, including the game's final batter.

IND pitcher Colleen Matthes, two days removed from her third no-hitter of the season, gave up three hits, three unearned runs and struck out six.

She issued one of her two walks to Jenna Schuberth to start the second inning. Shannon Thornton reached on an error, advancing Schuberth to third.

After Matthes struck out Erin Brady, Stacey Rouse hit a sacrifice fly to score Schuberth. Zinkand then hit a first-pitch fastball on the inside corner to deep left field and beat the relay throw to the plate to make it 3-0.

"The pitch was where I wanted to put it," Matthes said. "We just underestimated her a little bit."

Criss gave up a leadoff single to start the bottom of the second, then retired 12 in a row.

"[Zinkand's home run] took so much pressure off me," Criss said. "I thought it was my best game all year, especially to do it in the championship game."

IND (20-5, 14-3) had its best opportunity to score in the bottom of the sixth, but with runners on second and third, no outs and the heart of the order batting, the Indians came up empty.

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