Anne Arundel County teams dominated the Maryland state softball championships last night at Upton Field in Glen Burnie as two schools took home titles and one got partway there.
Brooklyn Park won its second straight Class 1A title, downing previously unbeaten Catoctin, 2-0.
On an adjacent field, two-time defending 2A champion Northeast extended its 55-game winning streak with a 3-0 triumph over North East of Cecil County.
Rain started to come down 10 minutes before the start of the 3A and 4A title games, and although both games started, they were suspended until Tuesday at 5 and 7 p.m.
Both will be picked up where they left off, which means little in the scoreless 3A game that pits Elkton against North Carroll, but could mean everything in the 4A game.
In that one, Seneca Valley trails Chesapeake, the other Anne Arundel County school, 3-0, in the bottom of the first inning. The Cougars have runners on second and third with two outs and a full count on Tracy Starke.
Before the game started, Seneca Valley Coach Larry Raum said returning All-Met Sara Graziano was an excellent pitcher but had control problems. In the steady downpour, Graziano hit two batters, walked one, gave up a hit and threw five wild pitches, most of them over the head of catcher Christine Smallwood.
Needless to say, Raum wasn't pleased with the decision to start the game, and was equally unhappy about the decision to suspend the game instead of starting the contest fresh.
"It was obvious my pitcher was struggling because of the rain," he said. "I asked them not to even the start the game. In a regular season game I could have said I didn't want to play it, but in the playoffs the decision is entirely the umpires'."
Northeast and North East have squared off the past two seasons in the title game and three years ago in the state semifinal game, and Northeast has won each contest. Last night the Eagles used acrobatic baserunning and intelligent defense to send the Indians home as runners-up once again.
In the second inning, Lisa Peglow hit a squibber to third that she beat out for a single. Stephanie Lazor followed with a fielder's choice.
Kelly Tibbs followed with a slicing drive that hit in right fielder Dana Stark's glove but popped out. As Lazor raced around the bases Stark scrambled frantically after the ball and relayed it to first baseman Kathy Petty.
Petty's throw to the plate beat Lazor by five feet, but as catcher Tracie Kennedy lowered her glove for the tag, Lazor hurdled her and landed on the plate. She twisted her ankle and left the game an inning later, but the run was all the Eagles needed.
The Indians threatened in the sixth inning, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Pitcher Kristy Zulka struck out the next batter, then third baseman Jennifer Kisiner made the play of the game.
Nicole Meister bunted to third and Kisiner picked up the ball cleanly and turned to throw to first. As her arm moved forward, Beth McClane broke for home. But Kisiner pump-faked and wheeled around to tag out McClane.
In the 1A matchup, Brooklyn Park opened the game with five consecutive singles to take a 2-0 lead. The Bees put at least two runners on base every inning except the fourth. Sophomore Karen Hay, who pitched every game for the Bees this year, struck out 11 to finish the season 16-7.