Old Mill's No. 6-ranked softball team put itself in good position to make the playoffs by beating visiting No. 4 Severna Park, 5-2, yesterday at Old Mill.
Old Mill can now take the final spot in the playoffs if it beats top-ranked Chesapeake on Monday, a situation that Patriot coach Lori Darnall doesn't mind at all.
"It's a tall order but I think we're up to it," Darnall said. "We lost a one-run game to them early in the season that I thought we should have won, but we're playing better now and I don't think we have anything to lose."
The Patriots (12-5) scored three runs in the fourth inning to erase a one-run deficit. Old Mill then got out of a one-out bases-loaded situation in the Severna Park seventh to get the victory. Pitcher Angie Mihalik went the distance for the Patriots and used her curveball to get most of her outs.
"My curveball was just working real well today," said Mihalik. "I don't really have an out pitch so I just try to figure out early what's working well and today it was the curve."
Mihalik was throwing so well that the only runs the Falcons (11-4) got were unearned.
With no score in the third, Falcons pitcher Christy Huber hit a one-out double into left-center field. Mihalik could have gotten out of the inning when the next three hitters hit weak ground balls, but Patriots infielders committed errors on all three. It was on the third that a Melissa Snyder ground ball went through the legs of third baseman Karen Jackson, allowing Huber and Amy Senger to score.
"Those types of innings have killed us all year," said Darnall. "We usually have one inning like that every game unless we're ahead. We seem to play more relaxed with a lead."
Old Mill got one back in its half of the third and took the lead in the fourth. With two out, first baseman Christine Baer got things started with a single to left.
The next two Patriots hit grounders to short but the Falcons couldn't get a force at second on either. The Patriots then got a two-run single from Amy McKenzie and a one-run single from Cindy Parulis.
Old Mill added one in the fifth to close the scoring. Old Mill's McKenzie led her team with two hits as did Severna Park's Huber.