Softball Under-12 girls -- The Howard County Youth Program travel team successfully defended its National Softball Association Maryland State Championship with six wins in Catonsville.
The Hurricanes breezed through the first three games, beating Catonsville Blue, Hereford and EDRECO by a combined score of 54-2.
Tournament MVP Stephanie Kunkel pitched a one-hit shutout in the opener while leading the offense with a home run and four RBIs. Other players with multiple hits in the games were Carrie Kelehan, Lauren Merkle, Lisa Chapman, Nicole Barnoski, Pam Sneddon, Kathleen Coolahan (who made all-tournament), Julie Taury, Lisa Felker and Rebecca Hernandez.
The Hurricanes then lost their only game of the tournament, dropping a 12-7 decision to Catonsville Gold on Sunday to move them to the losers' bracket.
But the dejection was short-lived. Trailing by seven runs with two outs in the last inning in their next game against the Freedom Flames from Sykesville, the Hurricanes staged a nine-run, 10-hit rally -- culminated on Katie Elliott's grand slam -- to pull out an 11-9 victory.
The win propelled the Hurricanes into the championship series against Catonsville Gold.
Lisa Humphrey (three hits, three RBIs) and Heather Phipps (four hits, three RBIs) led the team to a 15-7 win in Game 1. Then, in Game 2, a 10-run sixth inning -- led by the hitting of Barnoski (three hits, four RBIs) -- propelled the Hurricanes to a 15-7 win and the championship.
By virtue of their win, the Howard team earned a berth in the N.S.A. Youth World Series in Rock Hill, S.C., in late July.
11-12 girls -- Samantha Crehan, Holly Sutton, Shelly Sinclair and Lisa Havlik each went 3-for-3 as the Dorsey Hall Mobile Gypsies defeated the Gallery 44 Ladybugs, 13-6, last week in the first round of the Howard County Youth Softball Bronco League playoffs.
Ashley Heflin also pitched two scoreless innings for the victors.
The other game saw the Regency Cleaners Fillies top the Capital Cake Blue Jays, 13-4. Katie McNamara and Lauren Martin led the team in the field, while Missy Shreder added a homer and two singles at the plate.
9-10 girls -- Sara Rollinger, Shannon Wajer and Jane Lentz played well in the field and at the plate to lead the Douglas Homes Phantoms to a 21-13 win over the Fashion Bug Red Barons last week in the first round of the Howard County Youth Softball Mustang League playoffs.
Erin Smith's home run and clutch relief pitching by Nicole Volland helped the Capital Cake Blue Jays outlast the E.C. Lions Club Yellow Jackets, 17-15, and Emily Walton's home run helped lift the Fashion Blug Red Barons over the Neubauer's Exxon Blue Bandits, 18-14.
Sara Leffler, Kristen Nagle and Megan Horst also had strong games for the Barons.
Frank McFalls and Chris Yezek had strong games at the plate and Matt Shourds led the way with a sterling performance on the mound as the Marlins topped the A's, 19-10, last week in the Atholton Youth Recreation Association National League playoffs.
Nick Marks hit a three-run homer and J.P. Held had a double and a triple as the Yankees edged the Giants, 11-8.
13-14 -- The Columbia B Travel Team, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Columbia, outlasted Winfield, 14-12, last week in a Central Maryland Travel League slugfest.
Columbia broke on top in the first inning, scoring six runs on hits by Colin Stefan, Vinnie Rubbo, Chris Yetter and Seth Smith, and a long three-run homer by John Quinn.
The team extended its lead to 10-4 in the second, as Ben Shannon tripled in two runs and T.J. Welsh singled home another. Columbia then added two each in the fifth and sixth innings -- one on Smith's steal of home that proved to be the
Justin Shannon picked up the win, while his brother, Ben, earned the save by thwarting a last-inning Winfield rally.
The win ended Columbia's regular-season schedule. The 4-3 team begins postseason play this week.
7-8 -- Ryan Dobrusin's two-run double helped the Braves hold on for a 13-10 win over the Giants last week in Columbia Youth Baseball action.
The Braves led, 10-1, before their opponents staged a nine-run rally to tie the game at 10-10.
John Oldfield, Kellen Connolly and Clayton Alsup led the Giants. But the Braves won out in the end, thanks in large part to the defense of Tim Hilton, Greg Zalenski and Brad Layman, who helped shut down the Giants in the bottom of the sixth.
The Giants, however, did win two games last week. After edging the Seminoles, 13-12, they doubled up the Rangers, 10-5.
9-10 -- They affectionately call them "Mama's Kids," but Mama Ilardo's Rockies of the Columbia Youth Baseball Association have played more like the big boys of late.
Last week, coach M.E. Miles' team won two more games, besting both the Braves and Cubs.
The team defeated the Braves, 11-8, as Michael Tolkach smacked a three-run homer and Chris Dempsey contributed with clutch fielding. Josh Hurwitz pitched well to pick up the win.
The Rockies then beat the Cubs, 12-8, as Ben Black and Jay Ferrari both homered. David W. Thomas also tripled.
-- Phil Bright hit two triples and Jeremy Helene, Dan Stefan and Matt Lange combined to pitch five scoreless innings as the Howard County Sun Cubs edged the Orioles, 7-5, last week in the Columbia Youth Baseball Association. Mike Taylor also contributed with clutch defense for the victors. The win was the Cubs' third in a row.
10-11 girls -- The Centennial Blasters and Long Ridge Mills played to a 1-1 tie last week, leaving both teams undefeated in
the Soccer Association of Columbia.
Ali Woods scored the Blasters' only goal, putting in a pass from Caitlin Curran early in the first half.
Christian Hughes then evened the score near halftime.
Forwards Maggie Via, Tara Molesky, Hope Zelinger and Trisha Guarneri, and midfielders Shelly Sinclair and Heather Johnson kept up the pressure on offense in the second half, but couldn't score.
Defensively, fullbacks Cindy Briggs and Talia Morrison led the way.
Stopper Tina Razaiyan had a solid game for Long Ridge, leading a defense that thwarted the Blasters time and again.
To submit information for the Howard County recreation roundup, call (410) 521-0505.