One day removed from a 6-4 comeback victory against Howard, Glenelg’s girls wanted to avoid a slow start against Glen Burnie on Saturday at the Bachman Sports Complex.

The visiting Gladiators (3-0, 2-0 Howard County) hit through the lineup in the top of the first inning and scored 15 runs in the first two innings of an 18-5 win over the Gophers. The contest ended after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.

“I always think the first inning is the most important. You set the tone and show your opponents what you have to do,” senior shortstop Leah Allen said. “Coming out and getting eight runs in the first inning, we were set. We showed them we weren’t here to bow down to them.”

Allen led off the game by reaching on a throwing error. She scored on Marissa Saglimbeni’s inside-the-park home run in the first inning, and hit her own two-run home run in the fifth.

Allen, last season’s Howard County player of the year, finished with three hits and three RBI. Saglimbeni had two-run single in the second as part of her four RBI on the day.

Junior Colleen Regan earned the win for Glenelg, pitching a complete game and notching seven strikeouts. She allowed one hit and no runs during the Gladiators’ early 15-run barrage.

Along with catcher Brooke Redmond, Regan forms a potent battery for the defending Howard County champions.

“They’re working really hand in hand here this year,” Coach Ray Gerstner said. “They’re calling pitches, they’re working well together, they’re really in kind of a groove.”

Glen Burnie senior Jordan Hogan put the Gophers on the board with a run-scoring double in the third inning, and Glen Burnie scored another run when senior Caitlyn Kirby reached on a throwing error.

The Gophers (1-2, 1-1) scored three more runs in the last two innings, but the late show of offense was not enough.

After taking over Glenelg’s varsity midway through last season, Gerstner has started his first full season by winning three straight.

“The girls are getting used to some new changes, but it seems to be ironing itself out,” he said. “They’re looking ahead one game at a time, but also that ultimate goal of getting to states and winning.”