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Glenelg softball starts fast to earn bounce-back win over River Hill

Glenelg outfielder Katie McIntyre talks about the Gladiators’ 5-3 victory over River Hill on Thursday, April 19, 2018.

Back on the field less than 24 hours after suffering a one-run loss against Reservoir, there wasn't much time for Glenelg to reflect and make adjustments heading into its match-up Thursday against River Hill.

Apparently, however, the Gladiators learned plenty.

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Jumping ahead with a fast start for the second straight day, this time Glenelg limited the big innings defensively and maintained its cushion the rest of the way en route to a 5-3 victory.

"We talk a lot about not living in the past, live in the future. Take what we can from each game so that we are continually getting better, but keep moving forward," Glenelg coach Ray Gerstner said. "I thought we really battled today in a hard-element game with the cold and the wind. We definitely were better than we were yesterday."

Glenelg, which has now sandwiched wins over Howard and River Hill around a loss to the Gators so far this week, improves to 8-2 in county play and 9-4 overall. The team is a game back in the loss column of first place Reservoir and Marriotts Ridge in the Howard County standings.

River Hill, meanwhile, dropped its third straight county contest to fall to 6-3 in league play and 7-3 overall. The Hawks fell behind by five runs early on against Glenelg before rallying to bring the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh.

"I told them that the energy that they brought in the last three innings is what we need to come out with. And we've been talking about it the entire season," River Hill coach Marni Rosenbaum said. "It kind of ebbs and flows throughout the course of all the games we've had, but in these big games you can't turn it on when there's two or three innings left. We just ended up falling a little too far behind to be able to come all the way back."

Glenelg started fast, as Sage Huber (3-4) led off the game with a triple down the right field line. She then came in to score on a RBI single by Katie Dustin, who later in the inning scored as well on a RBI single from her sister Molly.

"We came out and scored two runs in the top of the first and I think that just put us ahead for the whole game and we never backed down," Glenelg senior Katie McIntyre said.

McIntyre ended up playing a big role in the team's three-run third inning, as she launched a solo homerun over the fence in right-centerfield to get things started. After that, Molly Dustin drew a walk and Amy Stetser singled — both eventually leading to runs.

In that third inning, Madison Wingert delivered a key RBI single and stole a base.

Gerstner said that getting a quick lead for Stetser in the circle for the second straight outing went a long way.

"The girls call them pillows, just that little bit of a cushion to work with so that they can relax and get in that groove defensively, and they make a huge difference," he said.

Stetser ended up allowing six hits and a pair of walks over seven innings, ultimately earning the victory.

But River Hill did pull together and make things interesting.

The Hawks scored their first run in the bottom of the third inning when Delanie Vintz came through with a RBI single to score Allie Wilson (2-3). River Hill then added another run in the fifth when Jenna Kenyon roped a RBI double that plated Brooke Gettier.

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It was still a three-run Glenelg lead going into the bottom of the seventh, but back-to-back infield hits from Crystal Lin and Wilson made things interesting. Lin ended up scoring on an overthrow to third base, but on the very same play Glenelg executed a rundown to eliminate the other base runner.

Stetser went on to get a fly out and ground out to end the comeback attempt.

"In the last inning we had a few errors that honestly could have cost us, but we got the girl in a rundown. And I think that rundown out was huge because it cleared the bases and it was like a fresh start with one out," said McIntyre, who made a running catch in the outfield for the second out in the seventh inning. "I think that gave us a little bit more confidence and we had a little bit more room to throw the ball around and be aggressive."

Quinn Kindbom pitched a complete game for River Hill in the loss, striking out five and walking two.

Glenelg is back in action on Friday against Centennial, while River Hill will square off against Marriotts Ridge.

Glenelg 5, River Hill 3

123 456 7 R-H-E

G 203 000 0 5-10-3

RH 001 010 1 3-6-2

Reach Brent Kennedy at bkennedy@baltsun.com or follow him on twitter @BKBSunSports

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