Howard at Atholton softball at Howard High School on Wednesday, May 3 in Ellicott City.
It was a day of milestones for Howard softball Wednesday.
The Lions celebrated their lone senior, Ally Wieman — who pitched a gem of a game against visiting Atholton — while coach Chuck Rice was a win away from clinching his 100th career victory. And it all came together in a fast-paced game in which junior Emma Braswell led the way at the plate, collecting her first multi-home run outing of her career in the six-inning, 10-0 win.
"Definitely really good for our program," Braswell said. "We've had a great season for the past years now and the fact that he got his 100th win on Ally's senior day is really good. We are really proud of everybody."
Howard (13-2 county, 14-4 overall) went into the game on a five-game winning streak, while allowing just seven runs combined in the stretch.
Wieman made sure to continue the trend against the Raiders (6-9, 6-10). She pitched five scoreless innings before Riley Law and Patty Drumheller knocked back-to-back one-out hits in the sixth inning. But Wieman didn't allow any damage, as she stranded both runners with her 10th strikeout to get out of the jam.
Wieman ultimately faced 21 batters Wednesday and struck out 10, grounded out five more, while allowing just two hits and a walk through six innings pitched.
"I think she had her game today," said Atholton coach Susan Ericksen. "She's a phenomenal pitcher. We saw that in the previous game when we played them earlier on this season. That wasn't a surprise, but you know, we had a couple little missteps."
Meanwhile, the Lions got their offense going early. Shanya Gordon led off the bottom of the first with a double, with Braswell batting her in following an RBI double to get her team on the board. Wieman then made it 2-0 Howard after an RBI single platted Braswell.
Braswell added on in the third, crushing a solo home run over the left field fence to push the cushion to three. Paige Eakes followed with a no-out triple, while Wieman added her second RBI of the day, hitting in Eakes with a base knock.
Julia Colton got on base a batter later and Emily Polimeni hit in both Eakes and Colton with an RBI double to extend Howard's cushion to six at the end of the third.
"Had a good win over Centennial [Tuesday] and a good win today," Rice said. "I have a feeling that we have a few minor things to work on, but besides that we don't have any time to practice. We have a game tomorrow, Friday the rain is going to come and we can't practice outside … it's hurting us in a sense, but our bats are coming alive and that is always a nice thing."
Drumheller held the Lions scoreless in the fourth, starting out the inning with her second strikeout of the day. Braswell and Eakes then got on with back-to-back singles, but Drumheller stranded both runners after getting Wieman to fly out to center field, where Sydnee Ruley made a nice catch with the wind whipping around. Drumeheller then finished the inning on a ground out.
"We tried to stay with it as best we could," Ericksen said. "There were some very good defensive plays at home and at first and attempt at the double play there and some phenomenal catches out in centerfield. We know what we know about Howard. We knew what we were facing, but hey we tried to bring our best game. I don't think they didn't it, just didn't work out for us."
Ruley made another nice catch in center field on a hard hit ball by Julia Colton to start the fifth. Ruley tracked it well despite the wind moving the ball quite a bit, and got the out for her team.
"She's done really well," Ericksen said. "She's advanced quite a bit in that role. She really has got the attention of all of her teammates in terms of her reliability and the confidence that they have in her. So yeah, she has done phenomenal in that spot."
Caroline Kindbom followed with a single, but Drumheller forced Emily Polimeni to hit into a fielders choice to get her out at second. But Gordon came up clutch in the following at-bat, hitting an RBI single through the infield to score Polimeni.
Howard went into the bottom of sixth with a 7-0 lead and Braswell quickly pushed the margin up to eight after hitting her second solo shot of the game, this time over the center field fence.
"This is the first multi-home run game for me. It feels good," Braswell said. "Seeing the home runs going over the fence it felt really good. I was really proud of myself and just proud of the team altogether."
Eakes and Wieman then got on with a single and walk, respectively. Becky Merson moved them over with a bunt before Colton added onto the lead with an RBI single to score Eakes.
Kindbom batted into a fielder's choice in the next at-bat, with Allison Orlosky tagging out Wieman who was heading home.
Gordon ended the game on the following play, hitting a deep shot to right field to score Colton and clinch Rice's 100th career win.
"Today is a good day," Rice said. "It feels good. It is a milestone you know? It was senior day and I really didn't want the girls to know. I just wanted to give all of their attention to our senior and Ally pitched exceptional. And her stuff wasn't really working, but she was able to compensate and do really well."
Gordon finished the day going 3 for 4 at the plate with a walk, two RBI and a run, while Eakes went 3 for 3 with a triple and two runs. But it was Braswell who highlighted the Lions' prolific day at the plate, going 4 for 4 with two home runs, a double, three runs and three RBI.
"She did well and she is seeing the ball really well now," Rice said. "She did this last year. She came on fire the last two weeks out of the year. She didn't make an out for three games and I am hoping it just carries."
Pitching: Ho — Wieman and Eakes; A — Drumheller and Orlosky.
2B: Ho — Braswell, Polimeni.
3B: Ho — Eakes.
HR: Ho — Braswell (2).
Around the league:
Centennial 14, Long Reach 13
In a back-and-forth game Wednesday, the Eagles made a few more plays than the visiting Lightning and pulled away for a 14-13 win.
Long Reach struck first after back-to-back hits by Julia Gates and Stephanie Moy. Rachel Jacavage plated both runners with a two RBI single up the middle. Kamryn Walker singled later in the inning and was hit in by Hailey Ramberg to give the Lightning an early 3-0 lead.
But Centennial batted back to score four runs in the bottom of the frame. Grace Bennett (2-5, 3 runs) led off the inning and reached base on an error. She advanced to third following consecutive ground outs by Sarah Sopchick (2-3, 2 BB, 4 runs) and Lauren Marcotte (4-5, 3B, HR, 4 RBI), setting up Celina Jensen for the RBI single. Olivia Reese (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI) kept the rally going with a single and Sarah Phelps (2-4, run, RBI) then drove in Jensen from second.
The Eagles continued registering quality at-bats in the inning resulting in their fourth run, which came from a Jordan Hinz walk. All four runs were scored on two outs.
With the lead going into the second inning, Jensen settled down in the circle to deliver three ground ball outs around a Moy single to keep the Lightning run total at three.
Centennial's bats stayed hot in bottom of the inning. Sophchick reached on a four-pitch walk and Marcotte hit her home with a deep shot to dead center to register her seventh home run of the year. Reese scored later in the inning after singling for the second straight inning.
The Lightning got one back in the third. Walker drew a lead off walk and found her way home thanks to a Ramberg RBI ground ball.
In the bottom of the inning Bennett and Sophchick hit back-to-back singles and was driven home on a triple by Marcotte to deep right center. Jensen then scored Marcotte on a sacrifice fly ball.
Long Reach got back in the game in the top of the fourth inning. Gates led off with a single, followed by hits from Moy, Jacavage and Walker. Alexis Warthen registered an RBI hit to drive in Walker and cut deficit to two.
The Lightning kept the Eagles scoreless in the fourth and they then tied things up in the top of the fifth.
Allie Lerman drew a lead off walk from Jordan Hinz, who came in to pitch for Jensen at the start of the inning. Lerman later scored thanks to a single by Gates and a passed ball. Jacavage drove home Gates with an RBI single up the middle.
But Centennial went back to work at the plate in the bottom of the inning.
Sopchick hit a one-out single and Marcotte followed with a hit. Jensen then smacked a single of her own to load the bases for Reese, who knocked a long fly ball to the fence scoring Sopchick and Marcotte.
Hinz then retired the side with a ground out, holding the Eagles' two-run lead. Reese connected with Carrie Strott at first to pick off Lerman to end the inning.
Long Reach followed with a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the sixth and again battled back to regain the lead in the top of the seventh.
After two ground outs, Jacavage got on base following a four-pitch walk. She advanced on a Walker single and found her way home thanks to an RBI single by Sayla Phillips. Warthen then drove in Walker and Phillips with a double to right center to give the Lightning the one-run lead.
Centennial had the top of its lineup to start the bottom of the seventh and all four batters came up clutch.
Bennett led off the inning with a single, with Sopchick following with a walk. Marcotte then singled to load the bases with no outs. In the four-spot, Jensen hit a sac fly to score Bennett to tie the game, while advancing Sophchick — the game-winning run — to third. Sophchick then touched home on a heads up play following a miss-handled pitch at the plate to clinch her team the victory.
C (9-6 county, 10-8 overall), LR (5-8, 5-9)
LR — 3 0 1 4 2 0 3 3 13 2
C — 4 3 3 0 2 0 2 14 16 1
Hammond 14, Mt. Hebron 11 (Game 2, double header)
The Golden Bears and Vikings split a double-header on Wednesday, with Mt. Hebron taking the first game in six-inning and Hammond rallying in the bottom of the sixth win the second outing.
Kelly Smith led the Golden Bears' offense in the first game, going 2 for 3 with a single and a double. Brittany Brewer also went 2 for 3 with two singles and Taylor Liguori hit a two-run home run.
Rylee Kinsella led the Vikings at the plate, going 3 for 4 with two singles and a home run, while Bree Hoskinson went 3 for 4 with two singles and a triple. Ana Mosisa and Kieran Davis each hit a double.
Brewer pitched a full seven innings in the second matchup, while also leading Hammond offensively, going 3 for 4 with three singles and three RBI, including the game-winning RBI. Bethany Hewitt went 3 for 5 with a single and two doubles, while Taylor Liguori and Amanda Weirich each had a single and a double. Armonie Lane also collected multiple hits for the Golden Bears.
Mosisa paced the Vikings offensively, going 3 for 4, while Kinsella had a double and a single in the game.
Ha (8-6 county, 8-7 overall), MH (6-6, 6-7)
MH — 0 4 0 6 0 1 0 11 11 2
Ha — 1 3 2 2 0 6 x 14 17 5
Mt. Hebron 12, Hammond 2 (Game 1, double header)
Ha — 0 0 2 0 0 0 x 2 7 5
MH — 3 0 0 0 3 6 x 12 9 1
Glenelg 5, Reservoir 1
The Gladiators grabbed an early lead on its way to a 5-1 victory over the hosting Gators Wednesday.
Glenelg took the advantage following a home run by Katie Dustin, a double by Erin Cauley and an RBI single by Katie McIntyre.
Gabby Browne earned the win. She gave up one run, two hits and struck out two in four innings pitched.
The Gladiators recorded nine hits in the game. Cauley, Dustin and McIntyre each collected multiple hits.
Breann Smith led Reservoir at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a run. Holly Daum, Hunter Little and Maddy each added a base hit.
Emma Bailey pitched a full seven innings for the Gators. She struck out five, while surrendering five runs and nine hits.
G (14-2 county, 14-5 overall), Re (8-6, 12-6)
G — 2 1 0 0 0 2 0 5 9 5
Re — 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 5 2
Pitching: G — Brown, Stetser (5) and K. Dustin; Re — Bailey and Hatzakos.
2B: G —Cauley.
HR: G — K. Dustin.
River Hill 9, Wilde Lake 6
The Hawks held off a late Wildecats rally to clinch the 9-6 road win Wednesday.
River Hill scored seven runs in the top of the first and never trailed in the game, but Wilde Lake continued to battle back each inning.
Every Wildecat reached base on the day and eight different players recorded a hit, with three having multiple hit days.
Sydney McNamara went 2 for 4 with a run for Wilde Lake, while Rachel Van Osdel went 3 for 5 with two RBI and Anna DiBattista went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Adanya Koger-Hobson and Faith Leslie each picked up a double and an RBI. Jasper Killian had a hit, two walks and two runs. Jasmine Johnson and Kasey Baird tacked on hits, while Baird also had a great day in the circle. She allowed just five earned runs and struck out five in the complete game.
It was senior day for the Wildecats, as they honored Leslie, McNamara, Johnson, DiBattista and Jessica Bell prior to the game.
"Today was our senior day and it was a terrific and competitive game to send off our five outstanding seniors," said Wilde Lake coach Tee Dronenburg. "I'm so happy that we were able to properly honor their time with the Wildecat family."
RH (8-7 county, 9-10 overall), WL (1-12, 2-12)
RH — 7 0 1 0 0 0 1 9 14 1
WL — 1 0 0 0 3 1 1 6 12 4
Pitching: RH — Vintz, Kenyon and Brown; WL — Baird and Leslie.
2B: RH — Lin, Koutras; WL — Leslie and Koger-Hobson.