Ciara Davis' two-out, walk-off home run powered Glenelg to a 2-1 upset over Howard today and put an early spin on the county race.
Davis' blast over the left-field fence knocked in Toni Pritchard, who had reached base on a bloop single in the season opener for both teams. This was the first varsity game for both Davis, a junior, and freshman Pritchard.
Howard, last year's Class 3A state finalist, is loaded with returning talent and favored by many county coaches to repeat as the league champions. But Glenelg's Colleen Regan pitched shutout ball against the Lions through five innings.
"I knew it would be close and it was," said Glenelg coach Dean Sheridan. "It was the first game for both of us and we both made mistakes and there were things we could have done better.
"I can't tell you which team will be better when we play again," he said. The rematch comes on April 25.
"Both defenses are ahead of the offenses," added Sheridan, who started two freshmen, four sophomores and three juniors.
Glenelg threw out two Howard runners at third and another at home. But Howard pulled two double plays on Glenelg bunts.
But Glenelg's defense also faltered at times, Sheridan said. "We had four errors in one inning but they only got one run."
Glenelg's bottom of the seventh rally came against Sammi O'Connor, who had relieved starting pitcher Kensey O'Neill in the fourth.
O'Neill gave up two hits and two walks and struck out five. O'Connor also struck out five but did not give up a walk.
Howard's Sage McGrann had a double and O'Neill had the only RBI for Howard. Catcher Taylor Latimer cut down one runner trying to steal. Loryn McMillin singled twice. Julianna Natoli scored Howard's only run, which came in the top of the sixth.
In other public school games, Long Reach, Hammond, Mt. Hebron, Reservoir and Atholton posted their first wins of the season while Chapelgate, playing in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland, got its third win of the season.
Howard 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 - 1 3 2
Glenelg 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 - 2 4 4
WP - Regan; LP - O'Connor
2B: H - McGrann
HR: G – Davis
Reaching for a win
Lexi Briscoe had two extra-base hits — a double and a triple — and struck out two batters as Long Reach posted an opening-day, six-inning 13-7 win over Oakland Mills.
Jess Dubbs shared the pitching duties and had three hits as the cleanup batter.