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Atholton's Gavin doubles up trouble for Mount Hebron


At 5-foot-4 and 115 pounds, Atholton shortstop Chrissy Gavin looks nothing like a typical power hitter.

Yesterday against 14th-ranked Mount Hebron, however, she proved that looks can be deceiving.

Gavin went 2-for-3, with booming ground-rule doubles that led to runs, helping the host and ninth-ranked Raiders to a 4-2 victory in a Howard County League game.

Her first double, a bullet to left that rolled under a gap in the fence, helped put Atholton (11-2 overall, 5-2 in the league) ahead, 1-0, in the first. She then came back in the third with a booming drive to nearly the same spot, this time bouncing over the fence to kick off a three-run rally.

"She's got a lot of power," said Atholton coach David Vitagliano. "We see that in batting practice all the time. She doesn't typically show it in games, but we know it's there.

"She's got such quick hands that it was only a matter of time."

Making her effort even more impressive was the fact that it came against Jenny Joyce -- a second-team All-Metro pitcher who led the Vikings to a spot in last year's Class 3A state title game.

The leadoff hitter said that playing summer-league ball against some of the area's top pitchers helped develop her stroke.

"I didn't really expect to be a power hitter this year, but it's really coming around like I hoped it would," said Gavin.

Her effort complemented another solid outing from pitcher Kim Ruprecht, who pitched a complete game allowing five hits -- all singles -- and striking out seven.

But shaky defense by the Vikings (6-5, 4-3) also played a role.

With Atholton runners on first and third in the opening inning, a throwing error by shortstop Sarah Eberhart allowed Gavin to score to make it 1-0.

Then, leading 3-1 in the third, Atholton extended its lead when Joyce overthrew first after fielding a routine grounder, allowing Shannon Eierman to score from third.

Ruprecht then took care of the rest. Twice she induced inning-ending ground outs with two runners on base and always seemed to get the out when she needed it.

But on this day, it was Atholton's hitting that stole the show. Mount Hebron coach Eric Aronowsky said he was a little surprised about Gavin's display of power.

"We knew she was a good hitter, though the distance she got surprised us," said Aronowsky. "[Joyce] definitely pitched well, but they had some timely hitting. They hit a few really nice shots."

* Centennial 21, Wilde Lake 0: Kim May of Centennial (12-1) struck out nine as she no-hit Wilde Lake. The Wildecats only had three players reach base.

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