In a game that was as exciting as it was error-filled, 11th-ranked Howard scored three runs in the sixth inning and got a game-ending out at the plate in the seventh to defeat No. 15 Glenelg, 6-5, yesterday at Howard.
The victory gave the defending regional champion Lions (8-1 overall and league) a one-game lead over surprising Wilde Lake (8-3, 7-2) at the season's halfway point. Glenelg (8-2, 6-2) is third, followed by Mount Hebron (6-3, 6-3) and Centennial (7-4, 6-3).
Howard committed two of its four errors in the sixth inning. Those mistakes, plus three Glenelg hits, including a double by Caroline Jones, helped the Gladiators to two runs and a 4-3 lead.
The Lions came right back, using three hits -- including a two-run single by Amanda Hubitsky -- two errors and two passed balls to score three runs and build a 6-4 advantage heading into the seventh.
Glenelg's Pam Goldberg reached base on a one-out infield single in the seventh. Goldberg stole second, then made it a one-run game when she scored on Suzanne's McGarity single to center. McGarity took second on the throw home.
An infield single by Shana Wyant moved McGarity to third, and Wyant, with Marni Brown up, took second without a throw.
"I was very nervous," said Howard pitcher Kelly O'Neill.
Brown, who had two singles in three at-bats previously in the game, hit a 1-2 fastball back to O'Neill. The sophomore looked McGarity back, then threw to Lisa Foster at first for the second out.
McGarity, one of the team's fastest runners, took off as soon as O'Neill threw to first.
"I thought I could make it," McGarity said. "I didn't think she [Foster] was going to catch me."
Foster's throw was in time, and Swiney, an All-County catcher last year as a freshman, blocked the plate perfectly.
"If the ball's there in time, no one is going to get by her," said Howard coach Dave Vezzi.
Glenelg coach Dean Sheridan said he "wasn't upset she [McGarity] went at all," and was proud of how his team came back. "There's no quit in them," he said.
Mount Hebron 7, No. 13 Centennial 5: Five players had two hits each as the Vikings pounded out 12 hits and won their sixth straight. Kathy Kiersarsky (double, two RBI), Kirbie McIntyre (double, triple), Kelly Neale (two RBI), Deanne Breithaupt (two runs scored) and Lauren Abicht each had two hits for the Vikings.
Pub Date: 4/17/97