Watkins Mill 4,

Springbrook 1

Watkins Mill sophomore catcher Becca Jacobs said it usually takes her first at-bat to get a feel for the opposing pitcher. So, as if on cue, Jacobs delivered an RBI double in her second at-bat and finished with two hits and three RBI yesterday as the Wolverines captured their second consecutive Maryland 4A West Region softball title with a 4-1 victory over visiting Springbrook.

Amid her sister's offensive spark, senior pitcher Rachel Jacobs carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning before yielding three hits. She finished with 12 strikeouts and one walk. Watkins Mill (18-1) will face Westminster in the 4A semifinals at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Randazzo Park in Severn.

The Jacobs sisters have proven a powerful pair for a Watkins Mill team eager to advance beyond the semifinals, where its season ended last year with a 5-0 loss to defending champion North County.

"I know we can win" the next game, said Becca Jacobs, who went 2 for 3. "Last year, nobody had been to the states. But the six returning starters know what to expect and know we have the ability to beat any team."

Watkins Mill jumped to a 1-0 lead in the second inning. With one out, Kelly Leahy scored on an error. In the third, Becca Jacobs smashed a deep drive to center field that scored leadoff hitter Jenni Rench.

With one out in the fifth inning, Becca Jacobs smacked a line drive into right field that scored her sister and senior Julie Kaminsky for a 4-0 lead. Rachel Jacobs reached base on a line drive to left and Kaminsky ran out a bunt along the first base line.

"I saw it was an outside pitch and knew it was a strike and I had to hit it," Jacobs said. "I just went where the pitch was going."

Springbrook (13-8) threatened in the sixth inning, getting runners on first and second with one out. Senior Terran Young walked and Elizabeth Abrahamson put down a hard-to-handle spinning bunt in front of the plate. Young scored on a passed ball to cut the deficit to 4-1.

Rachel Jacobs then retired the side with a groundout and a flyout to left field. She yielded a leadoff triple in the top of the seventh inning by Melissa Samowitz, but struck out the side to end the game.

Earlier, Jacobs retired nine of the 10 first batters she faced, five on strikeouts.

"My screwball was working real well for me," she said. "I knew who the big hitters were and where to place the ball."

"She [Rachel Jacobs] is definitely the heart and soul of our team," Watkins Mill Coach Jodie McLean said. "She is a huge leader."

Watkins Mill pitcher Rachel Jacobs is all business in leading team to Maryland 4A West Region softball title with 4-1 win over Springbrook.Watkins Mills's Becca Jacobs, sister of winning pitcher Rachel Jacobs, does her part with RBI double against Springbrook.