With six returning starters and several others up from an undefeated JV squad, No. 13-ranked North Carroll doesn't figure to need any extra help in defeating opposing teams in Carroll County this season.
Yesterday, however, the Panthers got plenty from host South Carroll. They took advantage of nine errors by the Cavaliers -- including four in one inning -- that led to six unearned runs en route to a 9-3 win in a nonconference matchup.
"We did a decent job and got some timely hits, but they did help us out a little bit in some big innings, especially the inning we scored four runs," said North Carroll coach Rich Harvey.
Leading 1-0, North Carroll (2-0) took command with a four-run third. After Beth Reeb and Katie Mullinix began the inning by reaching on consecutive errors, first baseman Sara Clark cleared the bases with a double into the gap in left-center to make it 3-0.
When Becky Wike then grounded out, Clark started toward third, drawing a throw from first baseman Emily Wolfing. The low throw got by third baseman Melanie Amoss and into foul territory, allowing Clark to score the fourth run.
A batter later, Meredith Gill reached on an infield single and took second on an errant throw by the shortstop. She then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Angie Smith's single to right, stretching the lead to 5-0.
Despite just six hits on the day, the Panthers reached base 18 times. They were also aided by a handful of South Carroll base-running errors, including one in the fourth inning when, with the Cavaliers trailing 5-0, catcher Kim Lowry led off with a booming shot to left field but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.
The mistake was magnified two batters later when Jen O'Brien doubled with the bases empty.
"We made a few errors and then we kind of got down," said South Carroll coach Debbie Eaton, "but I was real happy with the way we finished the game. That's the way we've got to play all the time."
Down 9-0, the Cavaliers (0-2) scored three runs on four hits in the sixth off tiring Panthers starter Smith, with the big blow a long RBI triple to left by O'Brien. It was one of three hits on the day for O'Brien.
Eaton also had high praise for Cavaliers starting pitcher Amy Smith, who allowed three earned runs through 6 2/3 innings, but left the game trailing by six.
This day, however, belonged to North Carroll.
Pub Date: 3/31/99