Marriotts Ridge’s bats started hot and never cooled down Tuesday afternoon, building an early cushion and eventually blowing things open for a 15-4 road victory over Hammond.
The Mustangs scored at least one run in every inning, including seven in the sixth to create the double-digit margin. The team took advantage of 13 hits, some smart base-running and the ability to put the ball in play in clutch situations.
“I thought we did really well in staying focused and continuing to score throughout the game,” Marriotts Ridge’s Kelly Hamilton said. “A lot of times you get ahead and then you get too comfortable with it, which allows the other team to catch up. So we really wanted to make sure we stuck with it and never let them get back in it.”
While Hamilton contributed one of the RBI on the day for the Mustangs, it was her effort at pitcher that really changed the course of the game. After starter Anna Geier exited with a 5-4 lead thru three innings, Hamilton took the ball in relief and proceeded to toss three innings of scoreless ball.
On the year Marriotts Ridge coach Karyn Curley has had the luxury of mixing and matching between three pitchers — Geier, Hamilton and Katie Smith — to keep opposing teams off balance.
“Using multiple pitchers is definitely a strength and we’ve found that it works very well for us,” Curley said. “I’d say that a lot of our success has been because we have been able to use each of them in different situations.”
For Hamilton, who allowed two hits, two walks and struck out four in her three innings, it was all about location against Hammond.
“I knew that they were a hitting team that was going to swing the bat, so I made sure to keep the ball on the edges of the strike zone,” she said. “I didn't want to just pitch straight strikes because they are good hitters that were ready to turn on it. I was definitely trying to challenge them.”
But while pitching certainly set the stage, it was ultimately Marriotts Ridge’s bats that did most of the heavy lifting.
In the first inning Marriotts Ridge was kick-started by a double from Geier. She and Alex Cwalina each ended up scoring runs in the opening frame for a 2-0 lead.
Hammond answered with a run in the first as well, with Emily Speierman leading off with a single and coming around to score on a hit by Maya Phillips, but the Mustangs were right back at it with two more runs in the second. This time it was Grace McCoy and Molly Meininger crossing the plate to make it 4-1.
In that second inning, Marriotts Ridge capitalized on three walks, a couple stolen bases and a couple wild pitches.
“We have been working on our strategy, especially over spring break … working on moving runners and getting them in,” Curley said. “We have a strong line-up from top to bottom and that’s definitely a big advantage, especially when you consider we play almost everybody, every game.”
Hammond showed plenty of resiliency in the early going. Despite never leading, the Golden Bears got RBIs from Sam Mesol, Emily Speierman and Caroline Goyne to do a solid job of keeping pace with the Mustangs through the first three frames.
Ultimately, though, Marriotts Ridge’s consistency was just too much to overcome. After adding another run in the third, two in the fourth and another in the fifth, the team issued the knockout blow in the sixth.
In that inning, on the way to seven runs, the team sent 11 batters to the plate. Lauren Biro (RBI triple), Katie O’Boyle (RBI single), Geier and Jordan Stepke all had hits in the frame.
Tuesday’s win helped build on the momentum that Marriotts Ridge had established by winning the Franklin Tournament over the weekend with wins over Towson and Williamsport.
“We are definitely a different team that we were at the beginning of the year and we are definitely starting to click,” Curley said. “We have been focusing on our batting, and, as you saw today, it’s keeping us in a lot of games.”
Marriotts Ridge 15, Hammond 4
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MR 221 217 15-13-1
Ha 121 000 4-8-5
Howard 13, Long Reach 2 (5 inn.)
The Lions used a big third inning, scoring eight runs, to create the cushion it needed to pull out the victory. Berit Batteron went 3-4 with a double, home run and 4 RBI, while Courtney Merson went 3-4 with a double and 2 RBI to lead the offense.
Merson also pitched and struck out 10 batters.
Alina Milauskas had both of the RBI for Long Reach in the loss.
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Ho 108 13 13-14-2
Reservoir 5, Atholton 4
The Gators scored a run in the top of the seventh inning to break a tie game and help earn the victory.
In the loss, Maya Schwartz led Atholton with a 2-3 day, including a double and two runs scored, and some solid defense at catcher. Junior shortstop Amanda Petersen went 1-4, but made several key plays defensively. Other standouts were senior first baseman Kaya Roberts (1-2, double, RBI, 2 walks) and senior pitcher Alex Herschman (1-3, double, run, RBI and walk).
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Re 112 000 1 5-5-1
A 020 020 0 4-7-4
River Hill 41, Wilde Lake 0 (5 inn.)
Kristy Selby pitched a one-hitter for River Hill, striking out four. Strong defense was provided by Kinsey Johnson, Courtney Colosimo and Mary Ellen Tokar.
Offensively, the Hawks got two doubles from Emily Hazzard and one from Jennifer Kim and Kallan Dirmeyer. Dirmeyer also added a triple.
Wilde Lake's hit came from Rachel Rabinowitz in the first inning.
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RH (20)60 4(11) 41-28-0
WL 000 00 0-1-5
Glenelg 15, Oakland Mills 5 (6 inn.)
The Gladiators got a huge offensive day from Alison Wilcox, who smacked three hits and had 6 RBI. As a team, Glenelg scored at least two runs in every inning. Toni Pritchard and Brittney Everett also had three hit days in the win.
Meghan Loveless pitched the complete game and got the win for Glenelg.
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G 333 222 15-20-1
Mt. Hebron 15, Centennial 1
The Vikings had an offensive explosion to pick up their 11th straight victory. Maddie Bennett pitched a great game, giving up only three hits and striking out nine, and also led the offense with two doubles, two singles and 4 RBI. Other strong performance for Mt. Hebron came from Alli Bluhm (three hits, three runs), Rachel Cadigan (three hits, triple, three stolen bases) and Stephanie Bluhm (3 RBI).
Alex Stim, Sammi Cadigan and Aaliyah Montague-Bass each had multiple-hit games as well.
Centennial’s hits were a single by Emily Allen and an RBI triple from Jordan Burk in the loss. Emily Davis scored the team's run.
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MH 032 10 9 15-17-1
C 001 000 1-2-2Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun