Watkins Mill 12, Springbrook 2

The Watkins Mill softball team continued its recent string of impressive victories yesterday, but the latest win was a product of luck as much as solid hitting and pitching.

Locked in a tie game with Springbrook, Watkins Mill scored 10 runs in the fifth inning after the Blue Devils' pitcher was hit on the leg by a batted ball and forced to leave the game. The 10 runs gave Watkins Mill a 12-2 victory in a Montgomery County nondivision game shortened to five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

Watkins Mill (6-1) has won five consecutive games, but only one of them has gone beyond five innings. After defeating Sherwood, 4-2, in eight innings a week ago, the Wolverines notched victories this week against Seneca Valley, Northwest and Springbrook by a combined 61-6 score.

"We were looking forward to playing Springbrook because they are a team that is consistently strong," Watkins Mill Coach Jody McLean said. "It's disappointing that the pitcher got hurt. We haven't had an opponent that pitches hard like that."

Watkins Mill's Gabby Reckendorf, using a swing she retooled for less distance and more hits last summer, drove in the first run of the inning with an RBI single. Her sharp hit up the middle hit Springbrook pitcher Collen Callan in the left thigh.

"I was fortunate that the ball came down the center for me. . . . I wasn't planning on hitting it [at the pitcher]," said Reckendorf, who went 2 for 4 with a double. "I used to try and hit for the fences. But now I'm swinging down more and getting grounders that help people score."

Springbrook tied the game at 2 in the top of the fifth inning, when center fielder Melissa Samowitz hit a line drive to right field that scored Liz Abrahamson. The Blue Devils had runners on second and third, but a base-running miscue allowed Watkins Mill first baseman Michelle Fields to tag out the runner at second and end the inning.

Watkins Mill responded in the bottom of the fifth. After Reckendorf's RBI single, Fields hammered a three-run homer to left-center field, and outfielder Kristina Poh added an RBI double.

Watkins Mill junior pitcher Rachel Jacobs struck out three and allowed seven hits for the win.

Watkins Mill's Jenni Rench beats the tag of Springbrook's Jennifer George on a steal of home for one of 10 runs in the fifth inning.