With two strikes on her and facing one of the area's top pitchers, Severna Park's Amanda Melgaard said she was just trying to make contact in the sixth inning of yesterday's game at No. 1 Glen Burnie. A single would suffice. A double would be a bonus.
A triple? The thought never entered her mind.
But that's precisely what Melgaard delivered, lifting a fly ball over the head of retreating left fielder Stacey Ellenberger that broke a scoreless tie. Pinch runner Laura Snider came home on a sacrifice fly by Alli Adams, and junior pitcher Christy Huber gave No. 2 Severna Park another spectacular performance in a 2-1 victory.
Huber allowed two hits and an unearned run. She took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and finished with 11 strikeouts. Three days earlier, she shut out then-No. 2 Chesapeake on four hits in a 1-0 win.
The only hits off Huber yesterday were singles by Samantha Miller to open the fifth and Coral Brandenburg to begin the seventh. Brandenburg was forced at second and reinjured her right ankle, which she sprained early in the season. She had to be carried off the field.
"I'm more concerned about the injury than the loss," said Glen Burnie coach Bob Broccolino, whose team had scored 100 runs while winning its first nine games.
Huber (9-1) and Glen Burnie's Denise Warren (4-1) were locked in a tense pitching duel. Warren struggled some with her control, walking six, but allowed just two hits, including a single by Lauryn McAlister in the fourth.
McAlister reached on an error with none out in the sixth, and came around on Melgaard's blast. "We keyed on something their pitcher was doing the last three innings, and Amanda was determined to make her throw the pitch she wanted," said coach Wayne Mook. "When Melgaard does that, you see the result. She was our best hitter last year and she's our best hitter this year. She comes through in the clutch."
Said Melgaard: "I knew we had a runner in scoring position and wanted to hit a single or double. I was looking for a hard line drive or a fly ball in the outfield. I wasn't thinking about crushing the ball at all."
Glen Burnie scored in the sixth on a groundout by Chris Napora. Mandy Farlow had reached on a one-out error and moved to second on a passed ball. Nicole Bjork entered as a pinch runner and went to third on a wild pitch before coming home when Napora put the ball in play after fouling off numerous pitches. Samantha Miller then hit a sinking liner in right-center with a runner on third that Jess Miller ran down for the last out.
Huber struck out the last two batters in the seventh, stranding Susan Kroedel at first. "They were going for the rise ball, so when I saw that in the first inning, as long as they kept swinging, I was going to keep throwing it," Huber said. "My velocity was better today than it was Friday, so that didn't hurt. And I mixed it up a lot."
Severna Park (9-1) left a runner on third in the second inning, and another on second in the fifth inning before breaking through. The Gophers put two runners on with none out in the fifth without scoring.
"Their smash went over our head, our smash hung up a little too long. It's a matter of inches," Broccolino said. "You've got to give Huber and the rest of the girls on that team credit. They've had a real good run here."
* Mercy 7, Spalding 5: Meg Kline hit a two-out, two-run homer in the fifth inning to lift host Mercy (8-5) over No. 6 Spalding (12-2). Kline went 3-for-3 with two homers, a triple and five RBIs. Mercy's Cory Kamen also went 3-for-3 with a double and a triple for the Sharpshooters.
* Old Mill 3, Arundel 2: Cindy Dennsteadt drove in Dawn Faulkner with a sacrifice fly to right field as host Old Mill (5-4) edged No. 7 Arundel (8-2). Faulkner reached base on a one-out triple.