Wilde Lake travels to Oakland Mills for a Howard County softball league game on Monday, April 18.
Consistency was the name of the game Monday afternoon for Oakland Mills, scoring at least once in every inning to eventually pull away for a 17-7 victory over visiting Wilde Lake.
Zoe Smith and Lizzie Yu reached base a combined 10 times and scored four runs apiece, spearheading a Scorpions' offensive attack that pounded out 14 hits and took advantage of nearly all of its opportunities.
"We are team that has to manufacture runs, where if we get on base we have to get ourselves into scoring position — looking to steal, looking for balls in the dirt or going past the catcher. For us, it's all about doing whatever it takes to score runs and sometimes that's small ball," Oakland Mills coach Skip Yarn said. "We've changed up our line-up a little bit to try and get the right runners on base too, like moving our number-four batter (Zoe) up to lead off because she's got such great speeed. So we've done some jostling that seems to be paying off."
Oakland Mills (1-7, 2-7) certainly went the small-ball route early against Wilde Lake (0-8, plating five runs in the first two innings while only having one hit during that span. Instead it was three walks, a hit batter, a couple stolen bases and a couple Wildecat errors that helped the Scorpions jump out to a 5-1 lead.
Wilde Lake, however, did show some fight in the early stages after falling behind. The Wildecats bounced back in the top of the third to score four times — highlighted by a 3-RBI triple from Faith Leslie (4-4, 4 RBI, triple, double and 2 runs scored) — and tied the game at 5-5.
Adanya Koger-Hobson, Sydney McNamara and Sophia Hilger all had singles and scored runs in that third inning.
"In terms of hitting, we are doing great," Wilde Lake coach Tee Dronenburg said. "We are putting the ball in play, advancing runners and driving them in."
But Oakland Mills never took its foot off the accelerator, tacking on another run in the bottom half of the third — Megan Threatte singled and scored — and another in the fourth — on a RBI double from Emily Yarn that scored Yu.
"We've been having some problems with our hitting so we have really emphasized hitting, and I think we did a great job today with our hitting," Smith said.
Wilde Lake cut its deficit to one, 7-6, in the top of the fifth on a RBI single from Avery Haigh that scored Leslie. But it was in the bottom of the fifth that Oakland Mills really began to break things open.
Emily Yarn capped a four-run inning with a 2-RBI single and the Scorpions had themselves an 11-6 lead at that point. Then, after another Wilde Lake run in the sixth, Oakland Mills closed things out in the bottom half of the inning by scoring six more times.
The Scorpions did have five singles in that sixth inning, but Wilde Lake also contributed to its demise by committing three straight errors with two outs. On the day, the Wildecats made nine errors.
"It really all comes down to defense. We always say that we have to control the controllables and one of those things we can control is the number of errors that we commit," Dronenburg said. "And today that cost us because we just gave them too many opportunities."
Afterward, Skip Yarn said there were still things that need to be cleaned up but he was overall very proud of his group. Even more than earning its second win of the season, first in county play, the Scorpions' coach said he is seeing definite growth with each passing game as the season reaches the midway point.
"We take solace in the fact that we are trying to play better every game than we did the game before. We want to hit better and play smarter and if we can do those things it really doesn't matter to me if we win or lose," Yarn said. "Our girls are gaining lots of small victories and it's because of those little things that we are able to have games like today, where we make the plays we need to in order to have a ball game."
The Lions stayed undefeated in county play, improving to 8-0, with the lopsided victory over the Eagles. Howard scored at least once in all four of its turns at the plate.
Emma Braswell went 3-3 with a double and 3 RBI, Shanya Gordon went 3-4 with a double and 3 RBI, and Ivanna Riggs went 2-2 with a RBI to pace the Lions' offense. Lydia Maruschak and Katie Unkle also had doubles.
Ally Wieman pitched all five innings for Howard and struck out six on her way to the shutout.
Camryn Allen, Emily Allen, Carrie Strott and Celina Jensen accounted for Centennial's four hits.
The Raiders started fast, scoring four times in the bottom of the first, and never trailed in a game between squads tied for second place in the standings.
Patty Drumheller and Miranda Thompson (2 RBI) led the charge with three hits apiece. Allison Orlosky (2-3), Bethy Medina (2-4, double, 3 RBI), Caitlyn Burmester (2-4, RBI) and Ruth Glenn (2-4, double, RBI) all added multi-hit days, while Sydnee Ruley contributed a RBI. Overall, Atholton finished with 16 hits.
Long Reach took advantage of a 2-RBI double from Isa Carunungan to plate all three of its runs in the top of the third.
123 456 7 R-H-E
LR 003 000 0 3-6-2
A 402 201 x 9-16-1
Reservoir 6, Hammond 4
The Gators trailed most of the way before using a four-run fifth inning to grab the lead it needed to hold on for the win.
Emily Lloyd went 2-3 with a RBI to pace the Reservoir offensive attack, but Holly Daum (double, 2 runs, RBI), Hunter Little (run, RBI), Sophie Striegel (run) and Emma Bailey (run) also were strong contributors.
Bailey and Lloyd split the pitching duties for Reservoir and each struck out four.
Taylor Liguori (2-3, double, 2 runs scored) and Brittany Brewer (3-3, 2 doubles and 3 RBI) led the Hammond offensive attack. Kelly Smith also scored a pair of runs.
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Ha 201 000 1 4-5-2
Re 110 040 x 6-6-3
Mt. Hebron 9, Glenelg 2
Not only did the Vikings earn an important bounce-back victory after falling to Marriotts Ridge last Friday, but the win was also a milestone one for long-time Chuck Struhar. He now has 330 career victories as a softball head coach, putting him alone atop the list for most career coaching wins in Howard County softball history.
Dale Huting, the long-time coach at Centennial, held the previous record of 329.
Struhar was honored on the field following the game, which saw Mt. Hebron come alive for four runs apiece in the third and fourth innings.
In the third inning, Evvie Buehlman, Rachel Cadigan, Megan Holquist and Kieran Davis all singled and scored to get things going.
Overall, Cadigan had a huge game with a 4-4 day at the plate and a couple highlight-reel plays on defense. "Rachel played the best game in her four-year career. She slapped and bunted her way on four straight times and was unbelievable on defense," Struhar said.
Buehlman also reached base four times with three hits and a hit-by-pitch. Rylee Kinsella drove in three runs, while Alex Marasa had three singles and two RBI.
At pitcher, Buehlman went all seven innings and struck out 11 against only three hits allowed. Her catcher, Holquist, threw out a pair of potential base stealers.
For Glenelg, Katie Grimm reached base three times on walks.
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G 000 020 0 2-3-1
MH 004 410 x 9-12-1
Marriotts Ridge 10, River Hill 5
The Mustangs trailed early by a couple runs, but exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the second and never looked back. Makenzie Hockensmith (3-4), Jordan Stepke (triple), Mikayla Barnard (triple), Romy Lindahl (double) and Grace McCoy (double) all had strong offensive efforts for Marriotts Ridge.
Lindahl and Barnard split the pitching duties for the Mustangs.
Delanie Vintz pitched for the Hawks and also had a double at the plate.
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RH 202 100 0 5-7-7
MR 070 120 x 10-13-4
Chapelgate 21, Concordia Prep 0
Grace Edwards pitched a no hitter, striking out 12, to lead the Yellowjackets to the shutout victory.
Amanda Rickett (3 hits, 3 RBI) and Hyeji Cho (2 hits) paced the offensive attack for Chapelgate. Tiffany Tharp and Jennifer Wolinski also added 2 RBI days.
The Yellowjackets are now 7-5 overall on the season this spring.