There's something to be said about setting an early tone, and Broadneck sophomore shortstop Ashley Thomas did just that with one first-inning swing at Anne Arundel County rival Northeast yesterday.
Thomas, batting second in the No. 2 Bruins' lineup, hit a two-run homer to deep left field to cap a three-run first inning. The Bruins later sealed the win with a five-run fifth - sparked by Corie Seitler's grand slam - on their way to a surprisingly comfortable 9-3 win over the No. 4 Eagles.
Broadneck improved to 3-2 on the season and 1-0 in the county, handing the Eagles (3-1) their first loss. Thomas finished with three hits, three RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Bruins' nine-hit attack. They also took advantage of six Northeast errors as sophomore pitcher Kourtney Salvarola picked up the win.
Broadneck coach Jim Ware emphasized making contact against Northeast's talented junior pitcher Heather Brown, and Thomas and Co. made sure to oblige.
"It was really good to get that hit - a great way to start off the season," Thomas said. "It came right down the middle, I saw it and was able to hit it."
After the Bruins took a 3-0 lead, the Eagles came back with two runs in the bottom of the first when Brown hit a two-run homer that took a bad bounce past Bruins center fielder Lauren Battista.
Salvarola, who had a triple, four walks and two runs, limited the Eagles to five hits. Thomas added a run-scoring single in the second to give the Bruins a 4-2 lead before the big fifth inning put the game away.
Ware was impressed with the at-bats he saw from his Bruins as they got the ball in play against Brown.
"That's basically all we're trying to do, just make contact with the ball. And in some cases the contact was good, and we also accomplished our goal and got runners on base," Ware said.
Brown went 3-for-3 with a walk, driving in two with the early homer, but the Eagles weren't able to string any hits against Salvarola.