River Hill softball rides hot start past Centennial

It wasn’t a runaway victory like earlier this season, but, behind strong pitching and some early offense on Wednesday afternoon, River Hill secured a season sweep of Centennial.

The Hawks scored three times in the bottom of the first inning and Sabrina Curtiss did the rest, pitching a complete-game, striking out six and allowing just one run to help River Hill to a 4-1 victory.

“I told the girls we had to be ready … I know Centennial had a tough game yesterday against Mt. Hebron, but they are a different team from the last time we played,” River Hill coach Marni Rosenbaum said. “They’ve got some hitters, so I thought Sabrina did an excellent job of mixing it up and our defense made some heads up plays to stop a couple of their rallies.”

River Hill’s bats started hot against Centennial starter Emily Bowman. After an initial out, four straight Hawks’ batters reached base in the first — three courtesy of singles. In between there was some heads up base-running to move runners into scoring position and then some big RBI hits from Sara Mascone and Kallan Dirmeyer.

Caroline Hickey, Kinsey Johnson and Mascone accounted for the early runs.

“I think it’s always important to get ahead early because it takes some of the pressure off. We know that we are usually fighting at the end for our wins, so it was a lot nicer to get those runs at the beginning and then try and protect it,” Dirmeyer said.

Down three, though, Centennial regrouped. Bowman settled down, finishing with four strikeouts, and limited base runners between the second and sixth innings.

In between, the Eagles scratched across their first run in the fifth inning courtesy of an RBI single by Bowman to drive in Celina Jensen (lead-off double).

However, as Centennial was building momentum toward a comeback, River Hill got itself a little insurance in the bottom of the sixth. A lead-off single by Curtiss gave the Hawks a base-runner, setting up pinch-runner Mary Ellen Tokar to eventually come in to score on a double steal with one out to make it a three-run game once again.

In the top of the seventh, down to its last out, Centennial staged one final rally by getting runners on first and third. But with the tying run at the plate, following a meeting on the mound, Curtiss induced a ground-ball to third base where Johnson delivered the game-ending out.

“When I went out there I told them that those two runners on base don’t make a difference and to just focus on the batter,” Rosenbaum said. “With their No. 9 batter up, we didn’t want to come back around and turn their line-up over. So that was huge to get that out and I definitely think that her experience, and for Kristy (Selby) too in those situations, makes a huge difference.”

Centennial may have ended up falling short, losing the team’s second straight county game coming out of spring break, but coach Katie Grimm was very encouraged by her team’s fight. After losing to the Hawks 13-3 earlier this spring, Centennial gave itself a shot down the stretch this time.

“It speaks to the strides they’ve made and their mental toughness,” Centennial coach Katie Grimm said. “Getting two runners on in that last inning, bringing the tying run to the plate, that’s pretty significant. We may not have got those runs across, but we got ourselves in the position we needed to be and, as far as I’m concerned, that’s playoff softball.

“That’s where we need to be with seven games left … so really, I couldn’t be more pleased right now.”

River Hill 4, Centennial 1

            123 456 7        R-H-E

C         000 010 0        1-4-0

RH      300 001 x        4-9-2

Other scores:

Glenelg 6, Long Reach 1

Gladiators pitcher Colleen Regan struck out 10 and walked two, while giving up just three hits to lead the way past the Lightning.

Grace Daigle and Regan helped lead the way offensively with two runs apiece. Alison Wilcox chipped in with a double.

Long Reach’s three hits were all singles, coming from Christina Doshim, Sam Samples and Abby Bakunas. Emily Forbus scored the lone run for the Lightning.

            123 456 7        R-H-E

G         300 300 0        6-7-1

LR       001 000 0        1-2-2

Reservoir 10, Wilde Lake 0

Emily Wang and Sophia Sommerkamp combined to pitch a one-hitter to lead the way to the shutout victory for the Gators.

Carly Clarke (2-4, stolen base), Anna Bennett (2-3, triple, 3 RBI) and Monica Lamm (2-2, double, 3 RBI) were Reservoir’s offensive leaders.

Wilde Lake’s hit came from Mekayla Tucker.

            123 45             R-H-E

WL      000 00             0-1-3

Re        613 0x             10-10-0

Mt. Hebron 10, Marriotts Ridge 0

Evvie Buehlman struck out 15 batters in five innings to lead the way to the shutout victory for the Vikings.

            123 45             R-H-E

MR      000 00             0-1-2

MH     523 0x             10-13-1

Howard 11, Hammond 0

Kayli Paugh delivered a no-hitter on the mound, walking just one and striking out 15. Emily Speierman kept the Golden Bears in it most of the way by striking out nine and only allowing five unrs through the first four innings.

            123 456 7        R-H-E

Ho       041 011 4        11-11-0

Ha       000 000 0        0-0-3

Howard 14, Hammond 0

Courtney Merson pitched a gem of her own for the Lions, striking out 11 and allowing just one hit in five innings.

            123 45             R-H-E

Ha       000 00             0-1-2

Ho       471 2x             14-13-2

Atholton 13, Oakland Mills 1

Alex Herschman picked up the win in the pitcher’s circle, while senior catcher Maya Schwartz hit a 2-run home run over the left field fence.

Atholton 16, Oakland Mills 1

Junior Jenny Matthews picked up the win at pitcher, helping Atholton improve to 7-4 in county play and 8-6 overall.


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