Change of pace lifts Cobras

Pitching strategy used by Harford Tech softball coach keeps powerful C. Milton Wright off balance in UCBAC championship game



Harford Tech softball coach Fred Mongan took a big gamble in last week's Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference championship game with No. 4 C. Milton Wright.

Mongan had scouted the Mustangs and talked with an opposing coach before deciding to start No. 2 pitcher Amy Hamilton. He planned to give her two innings, possibly three, and then bring in the harder-throwing Katie Irwin - a strategy designed to throw off the C. Milton Wright batters' timing.

The gamble paid off. Hamilton gave up two runs over the first two innings, but Irwin (11-2) shut out the Mustangs the rest of the way to give Harford Tech a 3-2 upset victory.

"We had nothing to lose and everything to gain," Mongan said. "Now we'll work our way through the states."

The win improved Harford Tech's record to 15-4, the best in school history. The Cobras also won the UCBAC's Susquehanna Division and earned the top seed in the Class 1A North region.

Hamilton gave up two runs in the first inning but got through the second unscathed. Lauren Peterson had an RBI single in the bottom half of the second to cut the deficit to 2-1. Kaela Mason lined a two-run triple to right-center in the third for what proved to be the winning hit. Ashley Taylor and Laura Amon scored on the play.

The Mustangs know Mason well, as several of them have played on club teams with her, but they couldn't stop her in this game. The sophomore first baseman had two triples and a single.

"They were all on cloud nine," Mongan said. "The whole school's morale is high. They played `We Are The Champions' on the announcements the next morning.

"I told the girls that everything from the end of our season is all gravy now. They all said they want some more."

Stepping down

Adam Milanoski will resign as Harford Tech athletic director at the end of the school year.

Milanoski has been in the position for three years while coaching boys lacrosse and teaching social studies. He cited the fact that he and his wife will become parents for the first time in September as the main reason for leaving the position.

"It was something my wife and I talked about before I took the job," he said. "It was something that I eventually knew was going to happen, and once that happened, I knew I was going to have to step down."

Milanoski said the school will be looking for a new athletic director and should have one in time for the 2006-07 school year.

He'll continue teaching social studies but said he's unsure about coaching lacrosse next year. Milanoski has been the varsity coach for three years after guiding the junior varsity for the previous seven years.

Change at the top

Bel Air took the UCBAC division tennis title, marking the first time since 2000 that C. Milton Wright did not grab the crown.

The Bobcats finished with an 11-1 record to win the Chesapeake Division, edging C. Milton Wright (10-2) and Fallston (9-3).

The Mustangs had won the county or UCBAC division title each of the previous five years. Bel Air, which won the title in 2000, was the last team other than C. Milton Wright to do so.

But the Mustangs bounced back to win the UCBAC team tournament championship. C. Milton Wright scored 35 points, edging Bel Air (33) to take the title.

The Mustangs won three of the five championship matches. Jessica Ahn won her second straight singles title, Katie Fritch and Taylor Boyle won the crown in mixed doubles and Kristie Trinchere and Whitney Torchia combined for the girls doubles title.

Bel Air and C. Milton Wright will meet again next weekend in the Region VII tournament at Winters Mill and North Carroll.

Heading to California

John Carroll freshmen Raphael Jordan and Wyatt Smith have been invited to the Adidas Phenom 150 basketball camp June 23-25 in San Diego.

Jordan was second on the team in scoring last winter, with 8.2 points a game. Smith averaged 4.8 points and 3.0 rebounds.

They both played in all 37 of John Carroll's games and should play key roles next season as the Patriots continue to rebuild. John Carroll was 15-22 this season after going winless the year before.

A second sweep

Last week, the Fallston boys and girls track and field teams earned their second sweep in two weeks.

The Cougars won the boys and girls titles at the Chesapeake Division meet two weeks ago before taking the both titles in last week's UCBAC meet.

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