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.
Long Reach started strong, led by a double from Taylor Burfeind. Madison Basham went two-for-three with a walk. Noelle Colligan started her first varsity game at short stop and came up with three big plays to get runners at first.
Oakland Mills 0 0 1 4 0 2 x — 7
Long Reach 4 0 2 3 4 0 x — 13
Sisters pitch for win
Pitching sisters Samantha and Emily Speierman each allowed just one hit as Hammond posted a 12-1 win over Wilde Lake in five innings.
Hannah Force homered in the win, and Keyuana Griffin had two doubles. Jill Purdy had three singles in three trips to the plate and Katelynn Spingola singled twice.
Samantha Speierman, who also had a double, pitched three innings, striking out five and allowing two walks. She was the winning pitcher of record. Emily Speierman had also struck out five, with one walk.
Both teams scored in the first. Wilde Lake's rally started with freshman Hailey Setley and sophomore Brittany Kuntz each drawing walks. Junior Kourtney Harrison came up with the clutch hit, an opposite field liner, sending Brittany Kuntz home to score her first run in a varsity uniform.
"Rose O'Rourke and Olivia Harrison each did nice work on the mound, only walking two batters, and staying poised and controlled through the game," said Wilde Lake coach Tee Dronenberg.
Hammond 1 2 2 3 4 x — 12 15 2
Wilde Lake 1 0 0 0 0 x — 1 2 6
WP - S. Speierman (3 IP), E. Speierman (2 IP); C - Griffin.
LP - O'Rourke, O. Harrison (4); K. Harrison.
2B: H- Griffin (2)
HR: H – Force
Shutout for rookie pitcher
Freshman Maddie Bennett pitched a complete game for her first high school victory as Mt. Hebron opened the season with a hard-fought, 5-0 victory over Marriotts Ridge.
Bennett gave up two hits and struck out three batters. Kristin Bianca led the Mt. Hebron offense with three hits, and Alli Bluhm and Erin Vogan provided the power; each had a double. Aaliyah Montague-Bass, Kelly Jones, and Alex Stim played outstanding defense for Mt. Hebron. Bridgette Vogan stole two bases.
Katie Smith pitched well for Marriotts Ridge, and Megan Hamilton played solid defense behind the plate. Mt. Hebron is now 1-0 and Marriotts Ridge is 1-1 after a win over Atholton yesterday.
Marriotts Ridge 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 2 2
Mt. Hebron 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 — 5 8 2
MR: Smith and Hamilton
MH: Bennett and B. Vogan, L. Bishop (4th)
2B: MH - E. Vogan, Bluhm
Yellowjackets still unbeaten
Chapelgate overmatched Grace Brethren, 13-3, in five innings. Freshmen led the way with Phoebe Cleaver pitching a complete game. She had nine strikeouts and had three hits at the plate.
Freshman first baseman Gabby Rowan knocked in four runs as Chapelgate won its third straight game. Junior centerfielder Courtney Bohn had three hits as well.
Grace Brethren 0 0 1 0 2 0 - 3 3 6
Chapelgate 4 7 0 1 1 x - 13 14 2
Raiders on top of Hill
Atholton rebounded from a pounding from Marriotts Ridge a day earlier to score seven runs in the bottom of the seventh and edge River Hill, 10-9. Gabby Nowicki got the winning hit for the Raiders, knocking in Maya Schwartzman.
River Hill 5 0 0 1 3 0 0 - 9 14 5
Atholton 0 3 0 0 0 0 7 - 10 18 1
A - Bell, Herschman (6) and Berger
RH - Curtiss, Selby (7) and Dirmeyer.
2B: RH-Woolls, Curtiss; A – Nowicki
Rachel Brown pitched Reservoir to a 13-3 win over Centennial.
Centennial's senior Amanda Hendrix pitched a complete game, striking out two. Two of Centennial's runs came in the sixth when Naomi Pretchl got a two-RBI hit. Anna Cowan, a junior, had her first varsity hit and had two put-outs in the outfield.
"One was absolutely the play of the game," said Centennial coach Katie Grimm.