This time, the No. 2 Glenelg softball team didn't wait until the seventh inning to issue the knockout blow against No. 12 Howard.
Mandy Bendix and Faith Kujawa each delivered a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning Friday, breaking open a tie game and providing the deciding runs in a 6-3 victory that keeps the Gladiators undefeated this spring.
The win also secured Glenelg (13-0, 16-0) a season sweep of Howard (9-4, 11-5), having come back to win the first meeting over the Lions back in March by scoring four times in the top of the seventh.
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"I don't know how we keep doing it, but we seem to keep finding ways to pull it off at the end of the game when it gets close," said Bendix, whose home run in the sixth was her second of the day. "Today it was one inning earlier, but it was still those same clutch plays and hits."
Glenelg ended up scoring all six of its runs courtesy of the long ball — a couple of solo home runs from Marissa Saglimbeni (2-for-3 at the plate) and Bendix (2-for-3) in the early innings, followed by the pair of two-run blasts in the sixth. Even for a Gladiators team that is among the county leaders in home runs, the power display was a season high.
"Everyone today was absolutely killing the ball. We even had a couple other deep fly balls that were within a couple feet from clearing the fence," Glenelg coach Ray Gerstner said. "You could just see the focus on their faces. Our seniors here haven't lost to Howard, and that's saying something because that is a tremendous program.
"They didn't want today to be that first one."
Broadneck 14, Annapolis 0: Right-hander Libbie French was perfect in her second outing. French (2-0) worked five innings and struck out six in her first shutout and first perfect game of the season for the host Bruins (10-6).
The pitches that weren't strikeouts were weakly hit ground balls scooped up by the infield.
Maja Henson went 3-for-3 to lead the offense.
No. 8 Seton Keough 14, John Carroll 0: Winning pitcher Kelly Lynch struck out nine and Allison Clampitt (2-for-2) had a grand slam as the host Gators (12-3, 11-1 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference) shut out the Patriots (3-10, 2-9).
No. 13 Northeast 8, North County 3: Coral Dittmar had the only extra-base hits of the game, a double and a triple, and two runs scored to power the host Eagles (11-2) past the Knights (11-2).
No. 2 St. Paul's 11, Mount St. Joseph 8: Mike Wynne and Alex McGovern scored two goals each and the Crusaders (16-1, 5-1 MIAA A Conference) held off the Gaels (9-8, 1-5) to win.
St. Paul's led 10-6 late in the game, and the Gaels rally ended with their final goal scored with 37 seconds left.
No. 3 McDonogh 10, No. 14 Severn 5: The Admirals (9-8, 1-5 MIAA A Conference) closed to within one after three quarters, but the Eagles (11-3, 5-1) outscored them 6-2 in the fourth to win.
Austin Frederick had five points (three goals, two assists) to lead McDonogh, and Brett Bedard had two goals and two assists for Severn.
No. 5 Gilman 21, No. 7 St. Mary's 9: Thirteen Greyhounds scored, led by Max Greene and Chris Walsch with four goals each, as host Gilman (10-2, 5-1 MIAA AConference) made a statement against the Saints (5-7, 1-5).
New Town 12, Chesapeake-BC 6: With two games left to play, the host Titans (7-0) claimed the Baltimore County DivisionIII title for the first time in school history.
New Town was led by midfielders Rashawn Clark (five goals) and DaMarco Spears (four goals). The Bayhawks fell to 6-3.