North Carroll slugged 12 hits yesterday and won the Central Maryland Conference softball championship by defeating Urbana on the final day of the regular season, 8-4.
Both teams entered the game with 11-2 conference records. North Carroll (15-3) was the Carroll County co-champion; Urbana (17-3) was the Frederick County champion, a state finalist last season, and had never won a CMC title.
Every player in the North Carroll lineup had at least one hit, but senior second baseman Val Mathis, batting No. 9, went 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs to play the key offensive role.
"Winning the CMC is great - it's all I wanted," Mathis said.
Her two-run double in the bottom of the fourth inning gave the Panthers a 4-2 lead that they never relinquished. She added an RBI single during a four-run fifth inning.
"Val bats ninth but gets the job done," Panthers coach Lloyd Ford said. "Her double was a great big hit."
Ashley Martin continued her hitting tear with her second home run in two days, a two-run shot that followed Katie Riley's triple in the second inning. The blast answered Urbana's opening two-run salvo in the top of the inning. Martin added another RBI on a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.
Both the second-inning runs were unearned off Panthers pitcher Angie Springer, who held Urbana to five hits through six innings before weakening in the seventh and allowing two runs on three hits.
"I don't know if we're intimidated by North Carroll or what," said Urbana coach Jeannie Prevosto, whose team lost to the Panthers, 4-3, earlier in the season. "They are a good hitting team, but we're batting .400 as a team."
North Carroll 9, Thomas Johnson 8: A single down the left-field line by Matt Capece drove home Erick Busick from second base with the winning run in the 14th inning, as the host Panthers (13-3 overall, 11-3 CMC) defeated the Patriots to win the conference baseball title outright.
The teams played two innings yesterday, completing an April 23 game called for darkness after 12 innings with the score tied 8-8.
It was the school's first CMC title in eight seasons under coach Denny Snyder; the win denied Carroll County champion Liberty (10-4 CMC) a share of the title.