Atholton travels to River Hill for a Howard County softball game on Thursday, April 21.
One day after cruising to a five-inning victory over Marriotts Ridge, Atholton found itself in a low-scoring grind-it-out kind of game against River Hill on Thursday.
However, thanks to a strong performance from Patty Drumheller at pitcher, along with some sharp defense behind her, the Raiders did what good teams do — find a way to win when the bats go cold.
Atholton (8-2 county, 8-3 overall) made the most of five hits, by stealing bases and moving runners over, to earn a 4-1 victory over the Hawks that keeps the team alone in second place in the county standings.
"We struggled overall and give some credit to River Hill for some of that, but I would call this a hangover from yesterday's big win over Marriotts Ridge. We came out today and couldn't string anything together," said Atholton coach Ed Holshue. "The nice thing was we made up for it with really good defense and Patty getting the big outs when she needed to.
"You have to win the games like this if you are going to be a good team."
The game was scoreless through the first two innings, with River Hill (1-9, 1-10) actually getting the better of the early chances by putting a pair of runners on in the bottom of the second.
It was ultimately Atholton, though, that struck first. Sydney Rhodes and Drumheller each singled in the third to set the stage for Miranda Thompson to deliver what ended up being the game's biggest hit. She laced a line drive into right center that plated both runners and gave the Raiders a 2-0 lead.
"I definitely was trying to find good pitches to hit and I just needed something on the right side to get them over," Thompson said. "Even if it was a SAC fly, you know, anything would have helped. But definitely looking to get runs on the board somehow."
Atholton later increased its lead to three in the fifth inning when Rhodes scored her second run of the day on a RBI groundout by Bethy Medina.
River Hill got itself on the board in the bottom half of the fifth when Hannah Brown led off with a double and came around to score on a RBI groundout by Janine Abate. But that turned out to be all the Hawks could muster offensively.
It was the River Hill defense — which allowed just one more run on a RBI groundout by Caitlyn Burmester in the seventh — that kept things tight. Delanie Vintz put together one of her strongest outings of the year, fielding her position well and inducing countless weak grounders to her infielders. Jalyn Cox was particularly strong at shortstop for the Hawks, recording 10 putouts.
"We talked today about putting a full seven innings together, with defense, pitching and hitting. We brought two of the three," River Hill coach Marni Rosenbaum said. "There were great plays by Jalyn out there, Aarthi (Ambrosi) making a big snag, Delanie fielding a couple hard-hit balls … we really kept ourselves in it. I give credit to Delanie all season, because pitching isn't her main thing but she's come out and given it everything that she has every day."
Offensively, River Hill had Vintz reach base three times (2 walks, single) and Victoria Koutras record a pair of singles.
Atholton just was a little too much, never even allowing the potential tying run to come to the plate in the seventh. Drumheller finished with four strikeouts and six hits allowed.
Holshue says the team will now turn its attention to a big showdown with first-place Howard (10-0, 11-2) on Monday afternoon.
"We're going to find out a lot of things about where we stand in that one," Holshue said. "But, overall I'm happy with what we are doing and I'm particularly proud of this win because we really hadn't had a game like this yet. And, come playoffs, you are going to see all kinds of different games and manufacturing runs the way we did today is critical."
The Gladiators bounced back from a tough loss against Long Reach on Wednesday to earn an important win over the Mustangs. Glenelg scored four times over the first three innings to grab the lead and then put things away with three more runs in the top of the seventh.
Paige Hoeflich, who went 3-for-3 with a double, led the Glenelg offense. Katie McIntyre (triple), Katie Dustin (double) and Amy Stefser (double) also added extra-base hits.
Gabrielle Brown picked up the win at pitcher, striking out five and allowing just 4 hits. Romy Lindahl pitched in the loss for Marriotts Ridge and struck out seven.
Evvie Buehlman struck out 12 and walked six, leading the way for the Vikings in a comeback win over the Lightning. Kieran Davis provided the highlight of the day offensively for Mt. Hebron with a two-run home run in the second inning.
Overall, Mt. Hebron had 10 hits, including batting around in the fifth inning on the way to four runs. In that fifth, singles by Rachel Veslany, Rachel Cadigan, Meghan Holquist, Davis and a double by Rylee Kinsella did the majority of the damage.
Buehlman then had a double and scored in the sixth for the final run.
For Long Reach, Sayla Phillips had a double and 2 RBI to pace her team's offensive attack. Kamryn Walker added a double and scored to temporarily give the Lightning the lead in the bottom of the fourth.
123 456 7 R
MH 020 041 0 7
LR 020 100 0 3
Howard 21, Wilde Lake 0
The pitching duo of Jamie Bahrijczuk and Ally Wieman combined to throw a no-hitter. Bahrijczuk had six strikeouts and no walks, while Wieman had four strikeouts and no walks.
Offensively, the Lions had Steph Yarrish go 4-5 with 4 RBI and two doubles and Lydia Maruschak go 2-2 with a home run and 3 RBI to lead the way. Other standouts were Rachel Oliver (5-5, 2 doubles, 4 RBI) and Hanna Kavalsky (2-3, 5 RBI).
Chapelgate 13, Concordia Prep 4
Hyeji Cho had four hits and 3 RBI to pace the Yellowjackets' offensive attack, while Melissa Lindauere and Alexis Beauregard added two hits apiece on the way to the Chapelgate victory. Jen Wolinski also drove in three runs.
Grace Edwards picked up the win at pitcher, striking out 13 in seven innings.
123 456 7 R-H-E
CCA 201 251 2 13-17-1
CP 200 100 1 4-6-4
Centennial 5, Hammond 4
The Eagles won their second straight game, building on a victory over Reservoir on Wednesday.
The Golden Bears were led by Brittany Brewer (3-4, 2 RBI), Taylor Liguori (double) and Cameren Bruce (single, RBI).
Reservoir 18, Oakland Mills 3
The Gators actually trailed 3-1 until the top of the third, but that's when the team exploded for seven runs and began to take control.
Emily Lloyd (4-5, 4 RBI) and Carly Clarke (3-5, double, stolen base 4 RBI, 3 runs) had huge days at the plate to pace the team, which finished with 15 hits overall. Holly Daum (2-4) and Emma Bailey (2-4, 2 runs, RBI) also had multiple hits.
Lloyd pitched all five innings and struck out three on the way to picking up the victory at pitcher.
Zoe Smith, who had scored one of the team's runs in the first inning on a RBI hit from Emily Yarn, finished the day 2-3 to lead the Oakland Mills offense.