Severna Park rolls back into final

Champ ousts Mt. Hebron, will meet Fallston for title

Class 3A state softball semifinals

High Schools

May 26, 2004|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Things looked good for the top-ranked Severna Park softball team when it scratched across a first-inning run against No. 13 Mount Hebron in yesterday's Class 3A state semifinal at Randazzo Park.

Consider: Just last season, Severna Park standout pitcher Kaila Jenkins pitched a perfect game against Mount Hebron in winning the regional final.

Jenkins wasn't perfect yesterday, but she was close enough, scattering three hits and striking out nine as the defending state champion Falcons came away with a 4-0 victory over the Vikings.

Severna Park (21-3) will meet No. 3 Fallston -- a 10-3 winner over Frederick in yesterday's other semifinal -- in its bid for a second straight state title and third overall Friday at the University of Maryland.

Jenkins, who also drove in the game's first run, is ready.

"It's going to be great -- especially playing at Maryland, a big Division I school like that," Jenkins said. "It felt good. Someone just asked me if I felt in control out there, and I said, `One hundred percent.' Our defense was completely sound."

The defense, led by third baseman Kristin Wojtowycz, who finished with six assists, played errorless ball.

Trailing 1-0 in the top of the sixth, the Vikings (20-2) got a one-out single from Maria Bean. She reached second on a groundout, but Jenkins got Robyn Jenkins to ground out to Wojtowycz to end the inning. The Falcons followed with three runs in the bottom of the inning, with Jen Wiley providing a two-run single.

Some good outfield defense kept the Vikings in the game, as center fielder Ashley Francis, left fielder Lauren Chell and right fielder Natalie Wilson made fine grabs.

Fallston 10, Frederick 3: The Cougars (22-1) rebounded after a shaky start to score 10 unanswered runs and roll over the Cadets (14-8) in the other semifinal at Randazzo Park.

This will be the second time that Fallston has made the state final; the Cougars lost in 1981.

Fallston pitcher Kirsten Wells entered with a 20-1 record and an 0.17 ERA, but Frederick banged out three runs on five hits in the first inning for a 3-0 lead.

But Wells and the Cougars settled down. Wells scattered five hits the rest of the way and struck out nine, and the Cougars grabbed the lead with a five-run, five-hit second inning.

"Kirsten pitched a great game," Fallston coach Pam Gauss said. "I think both teams were a little nervous in the first inning ... but we have some strong bats, and I have confidence in them."

Kim Lassiter's bad-hop single that tied the score at 3 in the second seemed to deflate Frederick and spark Fallston. Frederick pitcher Kelsey Mills threw nine wild pitches and walked four while the Cadets committed four errors.

Fallston scored three runs on wild pitches and another on an error. Fallston's Kim Gravell had two hits and two RBIs.

Jeff Seidel contributed to this article.

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