Odd 5-K first opens 6-1 Howard win Lions score two in inning, run away from River Hill


River Hill's Holly Gick struck out five batters in the first inning of yesterday's game at Howard.

"That was a first," Howard coach Dave Vezzi said. "It was pretty weird."

Still, the Lions managed to score two runs in the inning.

"That's not a good omen," River Hill coach Dave Vitigliano said.

He was right. Howard added three more runs in the third and another in the fifth en route to a 6-1 victory. Stacey Swiney led the 11th-ranked Lions (5-1 overall and league) with a double and triple and scored twice. Kristin Hooker had an RBI double for 15th-ranked River Hill (4-4, 3-3).

Gick, an All-County pitcher last year at Atholton, finished with a career-high 12 strikeouts. The junior struck out the side again in the sixth, this time facing the minimum three batters.

"I really don't look for strikeouts," Gick said. "I'm just trying to pitch smart and get outs."

Howard sophomore Kelly O'Neill also pitched well. She struck out nine, including the last batters in the sixth and seventh with runners in scoring position.

O'Neill had an excellent changeup yesterday. "Some days it really works good; some days it doesn't work at all," said O'Neill, who added that her changeup wasn't working Monday against Oakland Mills.

Gick struck out Lara Simon to begin the bottom of the first. Rachel Grantham singled to right, and scored on a double to left by Swiney. Swiney took third on the throw home.

Sarah Berg swung on a third strike, but the ball got loose and first baseman Hooker dropped the throw from catcher Marni Rosenbaum. Swiney scored on the play.

Gick struck out Lisa Foster for the second out. Amanda Hubitsky struck out on a pitch that got past Rosenbaum, and she beat out the throw to first. O'Neill then struckout to end the inning.

Pub Date: 4/10/97

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