Eleanor Roosevelt 2,
Jessica Webster was not smiling, but she was plenty happy. Eleanor Roosevelt's sophomore pitcher had just worked out of trouble in the final two innings as the Raiders held on to defeat host Bowie, 2-1, in yesterday's Maryland 4A South Region final.
As Eleanor Roosevelt's players joyfully mobbed each other in the infield, one of Webster's teammates accidentally elbowed the standout pitcher in her jaw, which remains sore from an injury that Webster had originally feared would end her season.
Webster was injured three weeks ago when, playing for her traveling team, she was hit by a ball while running the bases. First thought to be a broken jaw that would need to be wired shut, the injury later was determined to be less serious. Webster didn't play softball for a week -- nor did she talk or eat solid foods -- but she did return to the field, and yesterday she outdueled Bowie standout Christina Gosweiler.
Gosweiler had pitched no-hitters in Bowie's first two playoff games, and the only two runs she allowed in the previous 32 innings came when runners started at second base in extra innings as part of the international tiebreaker. However, Eleanor Roosevelt (18-3) quickly changed that on Ellen Hungate's two-out, two-run triple down the right field line in the first inning.
Bowie scored once in the fourth and loaded the bases in the sixth and seventh innings. But Webster got out of both jams -- with help from a throw to third by left fielder Christina Hill for the third out in the sixth -- ending the Bulldogs' 16-game winning streak and putting Eleanor Roosevelt in Tuesday's state semifinals against the winner of yesterday's 4A East final between No. 9 Chesapeake and Old Mill.