North Carroll cruises past Glenelg in 2A softball semifinals

Stitely pitches Panthers to 7-1 win over Gladiators

May 25, 2010|By Glenn Graham, The Baltimore Sun

The North Carroll softball team struggled down the stretch in the regular season and then had to battle through the West region with three one-run wins.

In Tuesday's Class 2A state semifinal against No. 6 Glenelg, the No. 14 Panthers packaged one of their finest performances to date when it was needed most.

Junior pitcher Samantha Stitely limited the Gladiators to four hits and the Panthers pounded out 10 of their own, breaking open a tight game with a five-run sixth inning that led to a comfortable 7-1 win at Bachman Sports Complex in Glen Burnie.

The Panthers (17-7) will make their second straight state championship game, looking to capture the program's seventh state title when they take on Easton — an 8-0 winner over Eastern Tech in the other semifinal — either Friday or Saturday in College Park.

After losing four of their past six games in the regular season, the Panthers' confidence has grown with the ability to win the close games in the region.

"We've come together as a team, working real hard together and it's meshing. We're fielding the ball better and the hitting is coming together — we were able to string some hits together," said Stitely, who added that the experience in last year's state tournament helped her stay calm.

Scoreless through three innings, the Panthers got singles from Holly Buckel and Amanda Hennessee, a bloop double by Jena Ruby along with an infield error to take a 2-0 lead. They broke it open in a five-run sixth with Shannon Mays and Vicky Boothe each driving in a run with singles and Buckel capping it off with a two-run single.

Stitely lost her shutout bid in the seventh inning when Glenelg senior Casey Schmidt (2-for-3) singled and later came across on a wild pitch.

Glenelg coach Dean Sheridan was disappointed with Tuesday's outcome, but pleased with the team's accomplishments — highlighted by a program-best 21 wins to just three losses.

"It was just one of those [games] when the wheels start rolling off the cart and then the whole cart ends up in a ditch. But we did a lot of things this season that made Glenelg softball proud," he said.

Class 1A semifinal

Allegany 27, Dunbar 0: The Campers (22-2) proved too much for the Poets in their first state tournament apearance, but the setback doesn't tarnish a fine season.

The Poets went undefeated to capture the Baltimore City championship and the South region, led by senior first baseman Karinda Felton and her younger sister, freshman pitcher Dawnyea Felton.

Softball

State semifinals

(at Bachman Sports Complex)

Class 1A

Allegany 27, Dunbar 0

Class 2A

14 North Carroll 7, 6 Glenelg 1

G 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 -- 1 4 2

NC 0 0 0 2 0 5 x -- 7 10 1

Schmidt, Segrist (5), Schmidt (6) and Braun; Stitely and Buckel.

2B: G – Walter; NC – Ruby, Capece.

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