Smart pitching, sound defense, and good execution on offense -- it's playoff time and top-ranked Glen Burnie has shown it all the past couple of nights at Randazzo Park.
Last night, senior Jen Zabetakis' took care of business on the mound with a two-hitter. And she got plenty of help defensively with some resourceful offense also in the mix, sending the Gophers to the Class 4A East region final with a 2-0 win over No. 4 North County.
The Gophers (16-4) will take on Anne Arundel county foe Severna Park -- an easy 13-0 winner over Queen Anne's in the other region semifinal last night -- in the region final at 2 p.m. today at Randazzo Park.
On Thursday, Glen Burnie got a bases-loaded single from winning pitcher Michelle Whelan in the bottom of the seventh to score the tying and winning run in a 4-3 win over Chesapeake.
Last night, things weren't quite as dramatic but just as effective.
The Gophers scratched a run across in the bottom of the first inning when Whelan led off with a bunt single, moved to second on Amy Schacklock's sacrifice bunt, stole third, and scored as Marianne Ogle grounded out.
"That was a big run," said Zabetakis. "You still go out there with the same intensity, but you know there's that little cushion just in case something does happen."
It was all Zabetakis and the Glen Burnie defense -- shortstop Marianne Ogle and left fielder Denise Schultheis leading the way with big catches -- would need until the sixth when Michelle Ogle tripled home Jessica Willis to give the Gophers an insurance run.
Zabetakis kept the North County offense guessing with her change-up working the best.
"Zabetakis did a great job keeping us off-balance," said North County coach Brian Love, whose Knights closed out a fine season with a 13-7 mark.
"We came out a little tight, but when my kids came in [after the first inning], I told them one run wasn't going to win this game. I was wrong. Glen Burnie is a senior-heavy team [that has] been there before. We're a sophomore-heavy team, and that showed. It was a good season, and we'll keep progressing."
Severna Park wins, 13-0
The Falcons cruised to the Class 4A East region championship with a 13-0 win over Queen Anne's in a game that was stopped after five innings because of the 10-run rule.
Junior pitcher Amanda Donaldson allowed only three hits and struck out 10 to get the win. Junior shortstop Meredith McAlister led a balanced attack with two hits good for three RBIs.
Next up: Top-ranked Glen Burnie, whom the No. 6 Falcons beat, 2-0, at Glen Burnie in early spring.
"That one got us going in the middle of the season, and it should be another great game tomorrow. We're geared up," said Severna Park coach Duane McAlister.
Pub Date: 5/16/98