Emily Bowman

Centennial junior Emily Bowman winds up for a pitch against Southern on Saturday in the Howard County against Anne Arundel County softball showcase. Centennial went on to win 6-4. (Photo submitted by Israel Carunungan / March 24, 2013)

Given the chance to flex its collective muscles Saturday in a battle between two of the top softball leagues in the state, Howard County’s squads didn’t disappoint.

At the Bachman Sports Complex, in the annual Howard County and Anne Arundel County showcase event, eight of Howard County’s 12 teams earned victories to display the kind of depth from top to bottom that local coaches have been raving about this preseason.

“You know with how good Anne Arundel county traditionally is that you are in for some good competition, but what is astounding this year is how strong Howard County is in softball,” said Centennial coach Kathryn Grimm, whose team edged Southern 6-4. “You go through all 12 teams and there aren’t easy games on the schedule for us. Days like today I think showcase how good our teams really are.”

In addition to Centennial, Howard County picked up victories by Atholton (11-1 over South River), Glenelg (18-5 over Glen Burnie), Hammond (7-0 over North County), Mt. Hebron (11-3 over Broadneck), Oakland Mills (8-6 over Meade), River Hill (12-2 over Arundel) and Wilde Lake (25-3 over Annapolis).

Anne Arundel county’s four victories came from Chesapeake (13-7 over Howard), Northeast (5-2 over Marriotts Ridge), Old Mill (12-11 over Long Reach in nine innings) and Severna Park (6-0 over Reservoir).

The showcase is technically in its third year of existence, but last year the event was rained out. This year, the skies were clear and the sun was out — and the team’s delivered some quality softball.

“It’s always nice for all the Howard County teams to get a look at some teams other than ourselves and see where you stack up,” River Hill coach Marni Rosenbaum said. “We weren’t able to get the games in last year here because of the rain and everything, so, although a little cold, this worked out well. Howard County in the past years maybe hasn’t been so high (in the state), but we’re definitely making our way up there.”

Game recaps:

Atholton 11, South River 1

The Raiders picked up their second win in as many games, getting a no hitter from pitcher Alex Herschman (10 strikeouts) to lead the way. Herschman also led the team at the plate with a 2-3 day that included a grand slam, a triple, 6 RBI and two runs scored.

It was a day the Atholton junior says she won’t soon forget.

“I have had good games with hitting and pitching before, but never a game where I pitched a no hitter and hit a grandslam homerun,” Herschman said. “But I couldn’t have done it without the support of my team.”

Herschman said all of her pitches were working, including her curves, screws and rises.

Gina D’Asto also had a great day for the Raiders by going 3-3 with 3 runs scored and 3 stolen bases. Maya Schwartz provided more offensive power by hitting a homerun and to go with 2 RBI.

Outfielder Melissa Porras made a spectacular catch in left field in the fifth inning to steal a hit and salvage a no-hit bid.

            123 45             R-H-E

SR -     001 00             1-0-5

A -       164 0x             11-7-2


Centennial 6, Southern 4