Glenelg Coach Cameron Rahnama wanted to provide his softball team with a tough test in making his nonconference schedule and came away with a game against one of the area's perennial powers at the site of the Maryland championship.

An 8-5 victory at Randazzo Park over Archbishop Spalding, the reigning champion of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Division, sparked a three-win week for the Howard County school.

"I told my athletic director that I wanted to play somebody good to start the season, and when he came back with Spalding at Randazzo Park, that was huge," Rahnama said. "To play there and to play a team like Spalding, that was just the kind of test I was looking for this team."

In three games, Glenelg has scored 28 runs and allowed 14. On Friday, the Gladiators pulled out another high-scoring affair with a 13-9 decision over Howard, and followed that up a day later with a 7-0 victory against Hammond.

Junior pitcher Stephanie Sims led the Gladiators with her arm and her bat. On the mound, Sims earned two victories and yielded two runs and four hits in 12 innings. She went 5 for 8 from the plate with eight RBI.

The potent Glenelg bats could be important if the Gladiators are to come out ahead in a wide-open Howard County race.

"Their top hitters do a lot of bunting to get on base, but they're also getting doubles and triples," Athloton Coach Maureen Shacreaw said. "That makes them a tough team."

-- Sean P. Flynn