Glenelg softball scores 17 times over final four innings to pull away for convincing road win over Hammond
The team's numbers may be dwindling — down to just nine active players — but Glenelg may very well be playing its best softball of the season.
The Gladiators bounced back from a slow start Friday afternoon under overcast skies to explode for 17 runs over the final four innings and pull away for a convincing 19-6 victory over Hammond. The win was the fourth straight for Glenelg (9-4, 9-7) after a string of three straight losses in early April.
"Every single one of our girls is giving us everything they have. They are working for the next one in front and the one behind, and this is the tightest team we've had I think in my five years," Glenelg coach Ray Gerstner said. "These girls really love fighting for one another."
Glenelg had gotten on the board with a run in the top of the first, as Katie Grimm (4-4, double, triple, 2 walks, 3 runs) singled to lead off the game and then later came around to score.
But Hammond (3-10, 3-11) took the upper hand in the bottom of the first, as the duo of Kelly Smith (3-4, walk, 3 runs scored) and Taylor Liguori (5-5, 4 doubles, 3 runs scored, 2 RBI) sparked the Golden Bears' offense. Smith led off with a single, Liguori followed with a double to drive her in and Emily Dowdall then followed with a RBI single of her own.
The Golden Bears had themselves a 2-1 lead that stayed that way until the third.
In that third inning, though, Glenelg plated another run to tie the game courtesy of a triple from Katie Dustin (2-3, walk, 4 RBI, 3 runs scored) and a single by Paige Hoeflich (4-6, 2 runs) to drive her in.
Then, in the top of the fourth, the Gladiators really opened things up. Nine batters came to the plate and the team scored five times. A RBI double from Katie McIntyre (2-3, 3 runs, 3 RBI, 2 walks) highlighted an inning that featured three hits and two walks.
"Right when we saw we were down, we knew we weren't playing to our full potential … so we were picking each other up," Dustin said.
Hammond had plenty of chances to put more runs on the board itself. In fact, on the day, the Golden Bears ended up putting at least one runner on base in every inning.
The problem was getting that big hit. Hammond ended up leaving 15 runners on base overall, including stranding the bases loaded on three different occasions.
Gabrielle Browne, who started at pitcher for the Gladiators, allowed four runs in five innings of work but really excelled at buckling down in the tight spots. She got a strikeout — one of seven on the day — with the bases loaded in the second inning and then induced a big pop out to Dustin at catcher in the fourth with the bags full.
"Our pitchers know when they need to really bring it … when they are down or behind in the count, they really know it's time to get ready, focus in and throw a strike," Dustin said.
Gerstner also praised the defensively play of Grimm at second base as being a key to halting Golden Bears' rallies.
"Katie had two or three awesome plays that really stick out in my head," Gerstner said. "Sometimes that's what it takes, a great play or two, to end those challenges."
The Lions kept their undefeated county season in tact, shutting out the Hawks. Jamie Bahrijczuk pitched a four-hit shutout with four strikeouts.
Offensively, Rachel Oliver went 1-3 with a 2-run home run, Lydia Maruschak went 2-3 with a double and 4 RBI, and Katie Unkle went 2-3 with a double and 2 RBI. Steph Yarrish also added a 2-3 day with a double.
123 45 R-H-E
RH 000 00 0-3-1
Ho 530 2x 10-11-0
Marriotts Ridge 27, Wilde Lake 0
The Mustangs pounded out 24 hits, including five of the extra-base variety, on the way to the shutout victory.
Jordan Stepke paced the offense, putting together a day at the plate that included a double and a triple. Emma Meininger (double), Samantha Miller (double) and Sarah Thorne (triple) accounted for the other Marriotts Ridge extra-base hits.
Miller and Shannon Burbank split the pitching duties for the Mustangs, combining to allow just one hit — a single by Wilde Lake's Kayleigh Gladden in the bottom of the first inning.
123 45 R-H-E
MR 364 0(14) 27-24-0
WL 000 00 0-1-4
Atholton 22, Oakland Mills 19 (8 innings)
In a crazy game that went eight innings, Atholton outlasted the one of the best offensive outings of the season by the Scorpions.
The Raiders ultimately scored three times in the top of the eighth and then closed out the victory with a scoreless bottom half of the inning. Juliet Nierle (3 doubles) Bethy Medina (2 doubles), Sydney Rhodes (home run) and Miranda Thompson (double) all had big days offensively for Atholton.
Zoe Smith (triple) and Emily Yarn (double) led Oakland Mills, which had a 10-run fifth inning.
123 456 78 R-H-E
A 423 450 13 22-26-4
OM 203 0(10)1 30 19-4-3
Reservoir 16, Long Reach 15 (9 innings)
In a somewhat controversial finish, the Gators ended up plating two in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game and force extras. Later, in the ninth, the Gators pulled out the victory.
The controversy was in the eighth inning with Reservoir's Hunter Little up at bat and the Gators down a run, 14-13, with Holly Daum on third. Long Reach got a fly out to right field for the second out and Little tried to tag up to tie the game. Long Reach catcher Hailey Ramberg caught the throw and applied the tag for what was initially ruled the third out.
But the field umpire ended up overruling and called obstruction to tie the game.
After Long Reach scored once in the top of the ninth, Reservoir answered with two runs of its own to win in walk-off fashion.
In the loss, Isa Carunungan led the way for Long Reach with a 3-3 day that included a 2-run home run and 6 RBI.
Chapelgate 11, St. Paul's 10
The Yellowjackets scored twice in the bottom of the sixth for what turned out to be the decisive runs in the home victory.
Grace Edwards (2 hits, 2 RBI) and Jennifer Wolinski (2 RBI) were among the standouts for Chapelgate in the win. Emily Issing had three hits to pace St. Paul's in the losing effort.