The Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association's A Conference, considered the nation's premier high school boys lacrosse league, will offer three doubleheaders at Johns Hopkins University in April, according to an announcement by two Baltimore-based sports marketing agencies.
The University Lacrosse Lax Under The Lights series, sponsored by The Sports Marketing Institute and SportsCom, will be played over the course of three weekends at the university's Homewood Field, with proceeds to benefit the Special Olympics of Maryland.
The first set of games will be April 1, featuring No. 6 Loyola against No. 9 Friends at 5 p.m., followed by No. 7 Calvert Hall against No. 3 McDonogh at 7:15.
On April 9, No. 1 St. Paul's, the defending conference champion, will meet Archbishop Spalding before No. 4 Gilman, last year's conference runner-up, takes on 10th-ranked Severn.
And April 15, Friends will tackle No. 5 St. Mary's, and Gilman will play Calvert Hall.
At halftime of the Gilman-Calvert Hall game, players for the professional Baltimore Bayhawks will conduct a "demonstration-clinic with Special Olympics athletes to honor their pride and commitment," said Jeff Dudley, president of The Sports Marketing Institute.
"Special Olympics of Maryland is first and foremost a sports organization," said Tom Schniedwind, senior vice president of sports marketing for Special Olympics of Maryland. "It is a source of great pride for us and the 10,000 athletes that we serve to be associated with this premier sporting event."
Tickets will be $5 per night. For more information, call Gary Adornato of SportsCom at 410-668-7900, or Dudley of The Sports Marketing Institute at 443-610-3148.
The Institute of Notre Dame's softball team certainly knows how to get a season started.
A year ago, All-Metro pitcher Colleen Matthes drove in two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to surprise Archbishop Spalding.
On Monday, Matthes picked up the win, but seniors Colleen O'Hara and Ashley French provided the game-ending offensive fireworks.
With the No. 4 Indians trailing No. 11 Chesapeake of Anne Arundel 4-2 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, O'Hara doubled in two runs and then French singled in O'Hara for a 5-4 victory at Patterson Park.
"We've got the core of the team back, but it's always important for every team to identify itself," said IND coach Greg Ehrman.
"Last year, we started off in similar fashion and our older kids are used to it being a long season, but it's important to get the new kids acclimated. That win was a big confidence booster."
Three freshmen -- Brianna Jones, Lauren Vetock and Mara Hauf -- figured prominently in the seventh-inning heroics.
Jones singled to get on base first. Then, with two outs and an 0-2 count, pinch-hitter Vetock singled, moving Jones to third. Hauf entered as a pinch runner for Vetock and stole third, setting up O'Hara's double and French's game-winning single.
Matthes gave up only one run in seven innings and Rebecca Nicely hit a home run in the fifth to tie the game at 2.
Girls tee off again
For a third year, the Baltimore County schools have received a grant from the U.S. Golf Association to fund their girls developmental golf program
The USGA has donated $48,000 -- $28,000 for this spring. The funds will help the county's department of athletics provide equipment, instruction and access to four local public courses -- Diamond Ridge, Greystone, Longview and Rocky Point.
Last spring, 100 girls from 13 schools participated in the program, but those numbers likely will be down this season, although not from lack of interest in golf, said Jill Masterman, county supervisor of athletics.
Some of those girls have moved to their schools' golf teams and, once they make a varsity team, they are not eligible for the developmental program. For the first time, the county offered separate boys and girls programs last fall rather than all-coed teams.
"The whole idea was to build up interest in golf and have a program interscholastically for girls that is equal to the boys," said Masterman.
"When we had the coed program, the numbers [of girls] weren't increasing, because it wasn't an inviting situation for girls to participate in. We've been cultivating the farm system to generate interest, so the girls teams can be self-sustaining in the fall."