The bats are alive!
No, it's not a promotion for another weak horror film. Rather, it's the reason behind the recent resurgence of the Northeast softball team, which has won 10 straight games since dropping a 1-0 loss to Severna Park on April 9.
During that stretch, the second-ranked Eagles have outscored their opponents, 80-10, and pounded out 92 hits, 25 of which have been for extra bases.
"We have been a program that has been blessed with good pitching and defense," said Northeast coach Marianne Shultz. "The fact that we're hitting is bringing our defensive level up a notch. It has made us more confident as a team."
The setback to No. 7 Severna Park saddled the Eagles with a 4-3 mark in the county. After that game, Shultz organized a few team-building drills and rearranged the batting lineup - namely, pushing senior Erin Hart to the leadoff position and senior Erin Gray from the No. 3 to the No. 8 spot.
The results have been nothing less than remarkable. Gray, Hart and senior Stephanie Adams each have hit two home runs during the 10-game spurt, and junior Melissa Tewey has recorded a home run, a triple and two doubles.
Senior Rachel Herrick has posted a triple and a double, while senior Karen Kotofski has registered two doubles.
Adams, Gray, Hart, Herrick and Tewey are batting over .340 with Tewey leading the way with a robust .571 and Hart close behind with a .537.
Shultz said she's pleased with the balance in her lineup.
"There's no easy out," she said. "It keeps the pitcher on her toes and she has to be concerned about every batter."
Luck of the draw
Luck wasn't on Severn girls lacrosse coach Renie Sotiropoulos' side.
On Wednesday, Sotiropoulos was selected to break a three-team deadlock for the No. 3 seed in the Sinclair Division of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference Tournament, which begins Monday.
Because the eighth-ranked Admirals (13-4 overall), No. 11 Notre Dame Prep and St. Paul's each had 2-3 records within the division, Sotiropoulos was asked to select a team out of a hat to determine the Nos. 3, 4 and 5 seeds.
Sotiropoulos picked Notre Dame Prep first, St. Paul's second and Severn last.
Thus, the Admirals, as the fifth seed, will travel to McDonogh for a 4 p.m. showdown.
"We have to meet the best teams anyway," said a chagrined Sotiropoulos, whose squad would meet top-seeded Maryvale in the quarterfinals. "We have to go to McDonogh and hope to repeat what we did in the regular season [a 13-7 Severn win]."
No. 10 St. Mary's was awarded the second seed and earned a first-round bye. The Saints (11-6-1 overall and 4-1 in the Lears Division) will meet the winner of the Notre Dame Prep-Garrison Forest game.