In a replay yesterday of the teams' season opener, Atholton took advantage of numerous Centennial errors for a 6-3 victory in a Class 2A South region semifinal softball game at Centennial.
The eighth-ranked Raiders (20-3) will play host to Howard, a 5-1 winner over Gwynn Park, tomorrow for the region championship and a trip to next week's state tournament at Randazzo Park.
Centennial (15-6) committed six errors yesterday, one fewer than in its 6-1 season-opening loss. And just as they did March23, the Raiders (20-3) made Centennial pay for its mistakes. Atholton took a 3-1 lead in the third inning with only an infield hit, combined with two Eagles errors and a wild pitch. The Raiders never trailed afterward.
The Raiders got an RBI single from Jessica McDonagh and an RBI fly-out from pitcher Katie Zitnay in the fourth inning to increase their lead to 5-1.
Zitnay scattered eight hits, five in the first three innings. In fact, Centennial had three singles in the first inning, but catcher Sarah Costa picked off a runner at first, and the Eagles stranded runners on second and third.
Centennial took a 1-0 lead in the second, when pitcher Amanda Hall tripled and scored on a wild pitch. The Eagles added single runs in the fourth and seventh innings
Atholton had eight hits, seven after the third inning, and left 10 runners on base. Zitnay, Costa and Kemp all made nice defensive plays for the two-time defending county champions.Howard 5, Gwynn Park 1: Kristin Gormus threw a no-hitter and hit a first-inning, three-run home run as the visiting Lions (11-9) earned their second straight trip to the Class 2A South region final.
Class 3A East
No.14 River Hill 3, No.10 Long Reach 1: The host Hawks scored three times in the sixth inning to beat the Lightning for the first time in three tries this season. River Hill (16-4) will visit defending state Class 3A champion Northeast, a 1-0 winner over South River, tomorrow for its first region championship.
Long Reach (17-5) scored on an RBI single from Rachel Jordan in the third inning but was denied another run when center fielder Aneesha Griffin threw out Emily Holloway at the plate.
Long Reach pitcher Kristen Schaper, who struck out three, walked one and went 3-for-3 at the plate, limited River Hill to a double from Amanda Bile through the first five innings.