12-6 loss to Catoctin frustrates F. S. Key Softball


The game had been over for 10 minutes and the Catoctin Cougars had packed up their equipment and were on the bus celebrating a 12-6 Monocacy Valley League softball victory over Francis Scott Key yesterday at the Uniontown school.

An unhappy Key coach, Joe Linthicum, stood behind the backstop and stared at the field.

"We lost to an average team with some good players," said Linthicum. "It was the same story as all our seven losses this season. A couple of big innings in which we made errors."

Catoctin (5-9) scored four runs in the second inning with the help of two Key errors and came back to score six unearned runs in the fifth inning after a costly Key error.

Those two innings were more than enough to drop the Eagles to 7-7 and frustrate Linthicum.

"We're not a young team and things like this shouldn't be happening," said Linthicum. "We have six seniors, including two [shortstop Erin Murphey and catcher Shelley Smith] who were on our state semifinal team two years ago."

It was a throwing error by Murphey in the fifth inning that touched off the six-run rally for the Cougars that sent the visitors ahead, 10-6.

With one out and runners on first and second for Catoctin in the fifth, Murphey fielded a grounder by Monica Lawyer and threw the ball wide of first base to load the bases.

The next Catoctin hitter, Angie Warner, grounded back to pitcher Amber Smith. But with only one out, Smith threw the ball home to force the runner on third, and that was the only out the Eagles got on the play.

Catoctin then erupted for six runs. Vicki Seiss provided the big hit for the winners, a bases-loaded triple that brought in three runs.

The Cougars scored three other runs in the fifth on two bases-loaded walks and a wild pitch.

The other key hit for Catoctin came from catcher Michelle Hahn, who had a two-run single in the four-run second inning.

Hahn, Seiss and first baseman Shannon Warner are three seniors who were ninth-grade members of Catoctin's 1990 state Class 1A girls championship runner-up team.

"I've had to move these three players to new positions this year because of players we lost to graduation," said Catoctin coach ++ Sue Weaver. "And they've been doing a good job. But the rest of our team is very young and we've had a lot of players out due to sickness and vacations over the spring holidays."

Weaver praised Catoctin right-handed pitcher Kristie Flabbi, who went the distance yesterday despite having a cast on her left hand from an injury she suffered during practice Monday.

Asked if this year's team had a chance to match the performance of the 1990 squad, Weaver said: "No. But give me a couple more seasons and we'll be there."

Francis Scott Key had gone ahead yesterday, 6-4, with three runs in the fourth inning.

A two-run double by Shelley Smith highlighted the fourth inning for the Eagles.

The home team also scored three runs in the first, with center fielder Damien Overholser driving in two of them with a triple to deep center field.

Said Linthicum: "We have some good ballplayers but we don't rise to the occasion. We also seem to play to the level of our competition."

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