Unearned run earns Severna Park crown


High Schools


Getting the most out of an unearned run in the first inning, the Severna Park softball team got a 13-strikeout performance from senior pitcher Kaila Jenkins along with flawless defensive play to grind out a 1-0 win at Long Reach to claim the Class 3A East regional title yesterday.

Severna Park leadoff hitter Jennifer Haag reached on an infield error to open the game and scored with two outs on a throwing error to score the game's only run.

The No. 3 Falcons improved to 20-4 and advance to the state semifinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday against West regional champion Tuscarora on Field No. 4 at Bachman Park in Glen Burnie.

"You take a run any way you can get it in a regional championship game against a good team like that. We always feel with Kaila one run can be good enough, but anything can happen -- we avoided mistakes today and it was enough," said Severna Park coach Jeff Sheppard.

The No. 8 Lightning enjoyed its finest season with its first Howard County crown and an 18-5 mark. Senior pitcher Amy Guyton allowed just two hits, but the Lightning was unable to get the two-out hit against Jenkins when needed.

In three innings, the Lightning -- which got doubles from Michelle Gradvahl and Guyton -- had a runner at second with two outs, but Jenkins, who established a program record with 302 strikeouts this season, and the Falcons were able to end the threats.

No. 2 Chesapeake-AA 2, No. 6 Glen Burnie 0 -- Freshman pitcher Lauren Gibson limited the Gophers to four hits and worked her way out of a seventh-inning jam as the Cougars (22-2) captured the Class 4A East crown. Chesapeake will take on West champ Gaithersburg at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the state semifinals at Field No. 1 at Bachman Park. The Cougars had the bases loaded and two outs in the third inning when Gibson hit a sharp grounder off Glen Burnie shortstop Adriane Blake to score two runs. Glen Burnie had runners on second and third with two outs in the top of the seventh, but Gibson threw a changeup to Blake for a called third strike after a good battle to close out the game. Glen Burnie junior pitcher Kelly Leary took the tough loss, limiting the Cougars to two singles.

No. 4 C. Milton Wright 2, Perry Hall 1 -- When Mustangs pitcher Chelsea Funk walked off the field going into the bottom of the seventh inning, she knew she did her job and left the rest up to her offense. With the score tied at 1, C.M. Wright loaded the bases and outfielder Katie Kolb scored on a passed ball to lift Funk (20-2) and the Mustangs (21-2) over the Gators (14-5) in a Class 4A North semifinal. "I was nervous," said Funk. "It was closer than I expected." Perry Hall scored in the first inning on a single by Sarah Bauer to take the early lead, but they left the bases loaded. The Mustangs answered in the bottom of the inning on a single by Cynthia Foster. "We played toe-to-toe with them," said Gators coach Brian Radcliffe. "We just couldn't get the big hit today." Bauer led Perry Hall, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a sacrifice bunt. Funk pitched a complete game, giving up one run on seven hits with six strikeouts. C.M. Wright will host Sherwood of Montgomery County today at 9 a.m. in the regional final.

Mary Beth Kozak

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