River Hill first baseman Kallan Dirmeyer talks about her team's 8-7 win over Chesapeake in softball tournament play Monday, April 6. (Brent Kennedy, Baltimore Sun Media Group)
After having the District V Softball Showcase snowed out earlier this spring, a handful of Howard County's top softball programs got another chance at seeing some top level competition as part of a similar early-season event on Monday at the Bachman Sport Complex.
Under sunny skies and warm temperatures, seven county squads — Atholton, Centennial, Glenelg, Howard, Mt. Hebron, Reservoir and River Hill — participated in the District V Spring Break Tournament. And, while there were definitely ups and downs for pretty much everyone involved, there were plenty of positives to go around.
River Hill was the biggest winner among the Howard County squads, with the Hawks earning a pair of victories. But there were also quality wins for Glenelg, Howard and Mt. Hebron by the end of the day.
Here's a breakdown of how the day went for each of the Howard County teams:
Against two of Anne Arundel County's finest — Northeast and Chesapeake — River Hill showcased its abilities offensively and defensively on Monday. The Hawks cruised to a seven-run win over Northeast and then followed that up with a gut-check, 8-7, victory over Chesapeake in eight innings (International Tie Breaker).
Kallan Dirmeyer was the hero in game two with a SAC fly to right field with the bases loaded to drive in the winning run. It was a nice rebound-effort after River Hill suffered its first loss of the season on Thursday against Severna Park.
The Hawks started their day off in grand fashion, exploding for a 10 runs in a 10-3 victory over a Northeast squad ranked in the preseason top five by the Baltimore Sun.
Kinsey Johnson spearheaded the offense with a 4-4 day that included a triple and a walk. But, on top of her, River Hill hit up-and-down its line-up en route to scoring at least once in each of the final five innings.
The run support was plenty for Sabrina Curtiss in the pitcher's circle. She allowed just two runs through the first six innings (striking out three) before giving way to Kristy Selby to close things out in the seventh.
After dropping that game against Severna Park last week, the victory served as a big bounce back. But, as Hawks' coach Marni Rosenbaum pointed out, she thought her team played well in the loss against the Falcons and that there weren't too many adjustments to be made.
"We know Severna Park is always a really strong team and I actually told the girls afterward that we played well but just happened to be on the losing end of it," Rosenbaum said in regards to the 5-4 loss. "So the nice thing I thought was that our offense carried over into today against Northeast and so did our defense, especially with Courtney (Colosimo) doing a really nice job in the outfield and Kinsey making a couple phenomenal plays at third. Throw in having Kallan back out there at first and everything kind of is coming together.
Things were much more back-and-forth for River Hill against Chesapeake in what turned out to be a game that had a wild mix of errors, clutch hits and late runs.
The game was tied 6-6 going into the seventh, where Chesapeake temporarily grabbed a one-run lead on a one-out home run by Toni Braun. But the Hawks answered back in the bottom half of the frame when Colosimo (4-5) delivered a clutch two-out hit to drive in Mary Ellen Tokar (2-4) for the tying run and force extras.
Chesapeake hit first in the eighth, but Curtiss struck out the first two batters and then got the third out on an infield ground ball to keep the game tied.
That set things up for Dirmeyer to be the hero. After the bases were loaded on a pair of walks to Johnson (3-4) and Sara Mascone behind Emily Hazzard (started inning on second), she drove the ball into the outfield deep enough for Hazzard to tag up and score.
"I was just looking for pretty much anything outside, but I don't have a problem taking an inside pitch out," Dirmeyer said. "I was just looking to hit it, preferably to right field or just somewhere in the outfield, a high fly ball."
Rosenbaum said she liked what her team got out of the event.
"To be able to come out strong against these teams is definitely a confidence builder and kind of gives us a chance to see that higher level of play going into the rest of our season," Rosenbaum said.
It wasn't a perfect day, as the Vikings suffered their first setback of the year, but against two of the state's best Mt. Hebron certainly showed why it is capable of doing big things this spring.
After losing 3-1 to Seton Keough in the team's early game, the Vikings rebounded to score early and often in a 7-3 victory over Northeast.
In its first game, Mt. Hebron got off to a sluggish start. Seton Keough struck for a combined three runs in the first two innings and that turned out to be all the support that pitcher Kelly Lynch would need.
The Gators' ace on the mound didn't allow the Vikings to plate a run until the seventh inning — on an RBI single from Rylee Kinsella that scored Evvie Buehlman — and limited the damage after that to hold on for the 3-1 victory. Lynch finished with 12 strikeouts.
Lynch also went 3-4 at the plate from her leadoff position and scored two of her team's three runs.
Mt. Hebron, which came into the game undefeated, had other chances to score earlier in the game. But for every quality opportunity there was, like in the third when the Vikings loaded the bases with just one out, Seton Keough had an answer.
Seton Keough 3, Mt. Hebron 1
123 456 7 R
MH 000 000 1 1
SK 120 000 x 3
The bats didn't take nearly as long to wake up in game 2 for Mt. Hebron, however, against Northeastern. In the bottom of the first inning, Kathryn Diaz singled and came around to score to give the Vikings a quick 1-0 advantage.
Then in the second, three straight walks to open the inning led to three runs. Mt. Hebron kept things going in the third when Madde Bennett tripled and came in to score on a RBI single by Kinsella. Just like that it was 5-0 in favor of the Vikings.
"I know that first game, I just don't think anyone was there," Kinsella said. "But the second game, we all came out and we had that energy in us. We had the fire going that we needed to beat this team."
Northeast made things interesting in the fourth by scoring four runs to make it a one-run game, 5-4. In that frame there was only one hit — an RBI hit to right by Alexis Brengle — but the Eagles took advantage of a couple walks, a hit batter and a few wild pitches to plate the runs.
Ultimately, though, Mt. Hebron's steady approach at the plate proved to be just a little too much. The Vikings added another run in the bottom of the fourth as Rachel Veslany led off with a triple and came in on a hit by Kathryn Diaz through the right side of the infield.
Then, with another run tacked on in the fifth, the Vikings had the cushion they needed to pull out the three-run victory.
Evvie Buehlman got the start at pitcher and finished with six strike outs before Maddie Bennett took over in relief. Buehlman also had a pair of RBI walks at the plate.
Mt. Hebron 7, Northeastern 4
123 456 7 R
NE 000 400 0 4
MH 131 110 x 7
Howard splits against North Harford, CM Wright
It was a tale of two completely different games for the Lions, who won a pitcher's duel against North Harford, 3-2, and then lost a slugfest against CM Wright, 11-3.
Against North Harford, Howard scored twice in the third inning and added another in the fifth to provide enough offense to earn the one-run victory. Rachel Oliver accounted for two of the RBI, with Berit Batterton adding the other. Batterton and Shannon Wiley each had two hits.
Ally Wieman (4 innings, 7 strikeouts) and Jamie Bahrijczuk (3 innings) split the pitching duties to help earn the win.
Howard 3, North Harford 2
123 456 7 R-H-E
NH 000 100 1 2-8-0
Ho 002 010 x 3-8-0
In its second game of the day, Howard actually jumped ahead in the top of the first. But CM Wright answered with two in the bottom half of the inning and never slowed down after that.
The Mustangs ended up scoring at least one run in five out of six innings.
By the time Howard finally got on the board again, courtesy of an RBI hit from Eryn Keenan as part of a two-run sixth inning, CM Wright had built an 8-1 advantage.
Katelyn Long and Emily Luzetsky each had three hits, while Catherine Kim had 3 RBI to pace the Mustangs' offense. As a team, CM Wright compiled 15 hits.
Despite the loss, which is the first this spring for the Lions, coach Chuck Rice said afterward he was glad his team got to see some quality opponents the last three games, including the team's victory over Broadneck last week.
"I think we learned a lot from the last three games … we saw pitching that we really needed to see. For me, it's all about measuring where we are at in the season and what we need to work on," Rice said. "Mental mistakes are the big thing hurting us at the moment, but we've also cut down on the strikeouts and that's a positive. We just have to keep getting experience at this level and learning every time we step on the field."
CM Wright 11, Howard 3
123 456 7 R-H-E
Ho 100 002 0 3-7-3
CMW 201 143 x 11-15-0
Glenelg splits against Chesapeake, North County
The Gladiators may have won one and lost one, but it very easily could have been a two-victory day. After powering past Chesapeake, 12-5, on the strength of 17 hits in the opening game of the day, Glenelg allowed four runs in the top of the seventh to break a tie game on the way to a 5-1 loss.
Against Chesapeake, the Gladiators scored a combined eight times in the first three innings and never looked back. The five-run third inning was highlighted by a 2-RBI single from Erin Cauley that scored Sharon Mielke and Claire Swan. Allison Wilcox also had an RBI single in the frame.
Swan paced the offense with a 4-4 day, all singles.
Anna Turvin recorded the win, striking out five and walking only one over seven innings while allowing five runs.
Glenelg 12, Chesapeake 5
123 456 7 R-H-E
G 215 000 4 12-17-2
C 101 201 0 5-11-5
The Gladiators had trailed 1-0 going into the sixth inning against North County when Katie Dustin had an RBI groundout to score Mielke, who had tripled, in order to knot the game.
But in the top of the seventh, North County stole the momentum right back. Allysa Allender and Emily Weichert each delivered RBI singles to kick-start what ended up being a four-run inning.
Glenelg was unable to answer in its last at bat and ended up falling short.
North County was named the winner of the tournament courtesy of winning both its games and allowing just a single run against in each contest. In its first game of the day, the team had defeated Century 4-1.
Allender also shined at pitcher, allowing just one run over seven innings against Glenelg while striking out 10.
North County 5, Glenelg 1
123 456 7 R-H-E
N 000 010 4 5-7-1
G 000 001 0 1-5-1
CM Wright 10, Atholton 0 (5 innings)
CM Wright scored in each of the first five innings and allowed just three hits. For Atholton, three players — senior Amanda Petersen, sophomore Bethy Medina and junior Ceara Mercilliott — all went 1-2 at the plate. Petersen also gunned down a potential base stealer at second.
123 45 R-H-E
A 000 00 0-3-5
CMW 212 41 10-10-0
North Harford 8, Atholton 7 (8 innings)
Atholton trailed 6-1 after four innings but battled all the way back to force extras before ultimately falling just short in the international tie breaker.
Several Raiders produced big days offensively, including Petersen (2-5, double, 2 runs, RBI, one caught stealing), freshman Patty Drumheller (2-4, 3 runs) and junior Miranda Thompson (2-4, stolen base, 2 RBI). Also getting in the mix with great efforts were sophomore Allison Orlosky (3-5, run, outfield assist) and junior Caitlyn Burmester (1-3, 2-RBI double).
123 456 78 R-H-E
A 001 042 00 7-11-3
NH 000 601 01 8-14-0
Arundel 7, Reservoir 5
The Gators jumped out to a 5-0 lead with a five-run second inning, getting RBIs from Hunter Little, Carly Clarke, Anna Bennett, Erica Caporaletti and Sophia Sommerkamp in the frame.
But Arundel responded with three runs in the third, two in the fourth and then the decisive two runs in the fifth. Emily Wang pitched for the Gators, allowing six earned runs and walking two.
123 456 7 R-H-E
Re 050 000 0 5-5-4
A 003 220 x 7-12-2
Broadneck 6, Reservoir 3
The Bruins got on the board with four runs in the first inning off Gators' pitcher Emily Lloyd and carried that advantage the rest of the way to the win.
In the loss, Reservoir got two hits apiece from Hunter Little and Anna Bennett. Bennett's day included a 2-RBI home run in the third inning. Carly Clarke, who scored two runs, had a triple to highlight her afternoon.
123 456 7 R-H-E
B 400 110 0 6-7-1
Re 002 010 0 3-7-8
Broadneck 8, Centennial 7 (9 innings)
The Eagles had themselves a 6-1 lead heading to the bottom of the fifth inning before the Bruins responded with runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh to extend the game.
Neither team scored in the eighth inning under the international tie-breaker rules that allow a runner to start the inning on second base. But Centennial pushed one across on an RBI hit by Jordan Burk in the top of the ninth.
But the lead turned out to be short-lived, as Broadneck responded in the bottom half of the inning with a game-winning 2-RBI double from Ally Thompson.