Glen Burnie coach Bob Broccolino referred to it as "the killer week," a three-game stretch against ranked teams, each one eager to hand his No. 1 Gophers their first loss.
Each one failed.
Yesterday, Samantha Miller didn't allow an earned run and was part of a 15-hit attack with a single, home run and three RBIs, as visiting Glen Burnie remained unbeaten with a 10-3 victory over No. 11 Old Mill in an Anne Arundel County 4A League game.
The Gophers (5-0) have outscored their opponents, 56-9. They began this week by downing No. 12 North County, 5-1, and held off No. 3 Chesapeake Wednesday, 6-4.
"Every team in this county is a potential nightmare," said Broccolino, whose squad had at least one hit in every inning off Old Mill sophomore Jen Bernard. "It was a big concern, but I know we have a good team and I still think we have the best defense in the state."
The pitching is no slouch, either.
Miller limited the Patriots (2-3) to five hits, all singles. She walked one and struck out six, and took a shutout into the sixth inning.
Glen Burnie loaded the bases with none out in the first inning but didn't score. It put runners on the corners with one out in the second, only to be denied again when the Patriots turned a double play. Denise Warren (2-for-5, two RBIs) grounded to third baseman Dawn Faulkner, who threw to first for the second out. Susan Kroedel (3-for-4) broke for home, but was thrown out by Cindy Dennsteadt, with catcher Christi Atchison applying the tag.
Old Mill nearly pulled another escape in the third after Jen Stapler (2-for-4) and Chris Napora (2-for-3) singled with one out. After Miller hit into a force at third, Coral Brandenburg blooped a single into shallow center field. Napora fell between third and home, then retreated to third, where Brandenburg was standing. Atchison fielded the ball and ran Brandenburg back to second before throwing late, and Napora scored for a 1-0 lead.
A walk to Jennifer Brukiewa loaded the bases. Kroedel singled in one run, Tammy Bradford (2-for-4) singled in two, and Warren doubled to center for a 6-0 lead.
"I think we were a little anxious about this game," said Patriots coach Lori Darnall, whose team has lost two in a row. "We knew they were coming in undefeated and there's a reason why. They've scored a lot of runs and they have good hitters. I think we were a little concerned about that."
It became 8-0 in the fourth when Napora reached on an error and Miller, batting left-handed for one of the few times this season, pulled a home run over the head of right fielder Holly Shaffer (2-for-3).
Napora tripled with one out in the sixth and scored on a single by Miller. Old Mill then rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with one out on a walk, an error and a hit batter. A fielder's choice grounder by Dennsteadt scored the first run, and pinch-hitter Kerri Smith singled in two.