T. Johnson beats sloppy N. Carroll


FREDERICK -- It was the kind of inning a coach doesn't like to see, particularly this late in the season.

There was a liner off a glove that appeared to be a possible double play, a dropped throw, a foot off the bag and a ball that got past an outfielder.

Throw in a hit batsman and three singles and Thomas Johnson found itself with a seven-run second inning, more than enough to get past visiting North Carroll yesterday, 10-2.

"That was the ugliest thing I've ever seen in my life," said North Carroll coach Rich Harvey.

"I don't know what happened, I thought we were out of the inning five different times. Everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong."

The game was nothing like the teams' first meeting at North Carroll -- a 2-1 Thomas Johnson win.

The North Carroll defense (five errors) wasn't to take all the blame. The Panthers (9-3) stranded 11 runners -- seven in scoring position.

Thomas Johnson pitcher Julie Blake wasn't overwhelming, but did get the outs when she needed them.

"She's a good pitcher, but not overpowering," Harvey said. "She works the ball inside and outside well and the first time really got us on the outside pitches. So we worked on going to right in practice and did a pretty good job. But when it came down to getting the clutch hit that would score a run or two, we couldn't get it."

After leaving two on in the first, the Panthers took a 1-0 lead in the second when Kathleen Tunney scored Christina Crouse with a fly behind short. Becky Bosley followed with a liner snared by Patriot second baseman Gina Cenviva, ending the inning with two runners left on base.

The Patriots (13-1) took control when they batted around in the second. Katie Simpson started it all with a single and after scoring, got up a second time and drove in two.

The Panthers threatened in the fourth with two on and one out, but Blake got two strikeouts.

Jill Ballard hit a run-scoring double in the fifth for the Panthers, but it came after Thomas Johnson put up three more in the fourth.

This defeat, combined with the surprise loss to Liberty last Friday, has left Harvey with some things to think about as the playoffs approach.

"It concerns me a little," he said. "The games we've been tested on, we haven't come through."

Bosley, Crouse and Ballard both had two hits for the Panthers, who finished with 10.

Along with getting the win on the mound, Blake had two hits and two runs scored for Thomas Johnson. Simpson finished with three hits, three RBIs and two runs scored.

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