Missed opportunities leave Glenelg at loss Gladiators fumble chances, take 4-3 fall to Rising Sun; Class 1A Softball


Shana Wyant had safely touched the plate three minutes earlier and was in the dugout when the umpires in yesterday's Class 1A state semifinal between Glenelg and Rising Sun called the Gladiators' pitcher out and took away the run.

The first-inning mishap was the first of several events yesterday at Randazzo Park that didn't go Glenelg's way. The eighth-ranked Gladiators had a runner thrown out at the plate in the third and sixth innings, and left the bases loaded in the fifth.

"We missed our opportunities," said Glenelg coach Dean Sheridan after the 4-3 loss to the Cecil County opponent. "We really felt we had a team that could take a shot at this thing, but it didn't happen."

"We had tons of chances, but we didn't take advantage of them," said Wyant, the senior pitcher who gave up three hits, struck out three and walked four.

Glenelg's Caroline Jones opened the bottom of the first with a single. Wyant bunted and an error on the play allowed Jones to move to third and Wyant to second. Goldberg flied out to left, and Jones scored easily as the throw was cut off by third baseman Sara Mitchell. Wyant tried to tag up from second on the play, but ran into Mitchell about eight feet from the bag. The collision jarred the ball loose from Mitchell and Wyant was able to score.

Rising Sun coaches then appealed the play, and minutes later Wyant was ruled out.

"They said I intentionally tried to take her out of the play," said Wyant, who lowered her shoulder before the collision. "I was actually trying to lean the other way and avoid her but we collided."

Glenelg (19-4) added two runs in the third for a 3-0 lead, thanks to a two-out error by Rising Sun shortstop Kristen Barrick. But Rising Sun (12-9) used two hits, a walk and a Glenelg error to tie the contest in the fourth.

The Tigers, whose pitcher and catcher are freshmen, scored what proved to be the winning run in the fifth. Stephanie Covert led off with a bunt single, and one out later stole second. She moved to third on a ground-out. Catcher Amanda Maska hit a sharply ground ball to senior shortstop Pam Goldberg, who bobbled it briefly and was a second late with the throw. Covert scored.

"I've had three errors all season, then I get here and mess up on that play," said a dejected Goldberg.

The Gladiators, in the state tournament for the first time, rallied again in the sixth. Sophomore Nicole Barnoski singled to left with one out, and Rising Sun's fourth error of the game on Marianne Hayden's bunt put runners on second and third.

With ninth hitter Julie Apel at the plate, Sheridan called for a bunt. Apel's bunt didn't go far and the right-handed Maska fielded the ball with her glove and swung around tagged out Laurie Driver, who was running for Barnoski, at the plate.

Said Sheridan about the play: "It's called a bunt and run. It's like a squeeze. Once the ball makes contact with the ground she's [the runner] gone. Julie's the best bunter on the team. If that ball goes four feet so the catcher can't get it, it's a done deal.

"We certainly needed a run, and that's the kind of thing that happened to us all day. If that goes two feet further she scores, but for whatever reason it wasn't meant to be."

Pub Date: 5/20/98

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