The Perry Hall softball team started Wednesday's game with plenty to celebrate. They finished it with even more.
The Gators, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the start of their softball program, beat Loch Raven, 13-3, in a game attended by two dozen former players and the program's first coach, Emily "Toni" Thon, who threw out the first pitch.
"It was very distracting with everything going on, it was hard for my kids to stay focused," Perry Hall coach Brian Radcliffe said. "But, we got the win."
Radcliffe, only the second softball coach in the Gators' history, succeeded Thon -- who coached for 30 years -- in 1995. The Perry Hall softball team is 494-212 (.699 winning percentage) in history, including state playoff games. The team is 8-3 this season.
"I think we've stayed consistent," Radcliffe said. "Back in the '60s and '70s, there weren't as many high schools, and I don’t know if softball was quite as popular as it is today."
About 24 former players attended the abbreviated, six-inning game, and one of the umpires was a former player of Thon's.
"To have that number of people come out for both of us ... it was very nice," Radcliffe said.
Gators junior first baseman Abby Hollen went 3-for-3 with a triple, home run and three RBIs. Pitcher Miranda Lobus pitched a complete game and had 12 strikeouts. None of the three runs allowed by Lobus were earned.