Glenelg's coaches and players knew it had a good team entering the season. However, when The Sun's preseason Top 15 poll came out, the Gladiators struck out.
"We were disappointed that we weren't in the rankings," said Glenelg senior pitcher Marni Brown. "But it's turned out pretty good, because it made us want to prove ourselves more and to show what we can do."
And so they have. Five games into the county schedule, Glenelg is the only unbeaten team.
The 14th-ranked Gladiators, taking advantage of nine River Hill errors, defeated the 15th-ranked Hawks, 9-4, yesterday at Glenelg. The Gladiators scored in every inning except the third, and had three-run innings in the second and sixth (with two outs).
River Hill's only inning without an error was the first. The Hawks committed two errors in the fifth inning, and four in the sixth, three on one play.
"We made too many errors to win a JV game," said River Hill coach Dave Vitagliano. "At some point, we'll have to stop using the excuse that we're young and don't have any seniors. At some point, you have to make the plays, and we're not doing that."
Said River Hill first baseman Kristin Hooker, one of six River Hill players who attended Glenelg last season: "We made too many mistakes, both mental and physical. But there's nothing we can do now except get them the second time."
Glenelg (7-0 overall, 5-0 league) put three singles together in the second inning to score a run, then added two more later on a River Hill throwing error. That gave the Gladiators a 4-1 lead entering the third.
But in the fourth, Brown walked two, threw two wild pitches and gave up two singles and a double as River Hill (4-3, 3-2) scored three times with two outs to tie the game. Kerry McWhorter's two-run double to left was the key hit.
"We got flustered one inning ourselves," said Glenelg coach Dean Sheridan, in his first season after seven years as the school's JV coach. "But we did a good job keeping our composure after they tied it. That was very important."
A two-out error allowed Glenelg to take a 5-4 lead in the fourth. River Hill loaded the bases in the fifth -- Brown walked two and hit a batter -- but got McWhorter to strike out with two outs.
"I wanted to strike her out more than anything," Brown said of McWhorter, who also had an RBI single in the second.
Glenelg hit well and played solid defensively against the Hawks, and Sheridan was glad to see it.
"Right now, we're good to go," Sheridan said. "I have respect for all the teams in the league. I'm not taking anything for granted, but we feel good about our position."
Pub Date: 4/08/97