Knights, Hood see way past Eagles

May 14, 1999|By DAN SPEARS

MIDDLETOWN, Md. - If the writing was on the wall for the Middletown Knights and pitcher Jill Hood in the first round of the Class 2A West playoffs, they were in luck.

She wouldn't have been able to read it anyway.

Hood - who wears glasses at the plate but won't wear them on the mound - struck out 11 and started a six-run second inning with a bases-loaded walk as the No. 6 Knights won with surprising ease against Francis Scott Key, 9-3.

"I can barely see the catcher's fingers," Hood (12-7) said. "(Pitching) is all mechanical, but I do need to see the signs. ... We're making the appointment (to get contact lenses) shortly."

Right now, it's the Eagles (14-5) making appointments for summer. FSK had already beaten Middletown twice in low-scoring games, which made Friday's offensive explosion all the more pleasing to the eye.


"I don't think we had to say anything," Middletown coach Charley Toms said. "We just said that no one else had swept us this year, except them."

The Knights certainly weren't blind to motivation, even though Hood was blind to the ball midway through the season. But putting on her glasses helped create a spectacle in the second inning.

With the bases loaded and one out, FSK relieved starter Misti Myers with Meredith Carter to face Hood, who watched a 3-2 pitch sail outside to drive in the first run of the game.

After that, the Knights (14-7) weren't walking, they were running. A high-hop single by Megan Enders drove in two runs and Jo Kline's single drove in another.

It added up to a 6-0 lead and made things easy on the eyes for everyone in a Middletown uniform.

"I never dreamed we'd get nine runs," Toms said. "I told them before it would be a low-scoring game."

Enders and Kelly Mogard had two hits each as the Knights finished with eight hits and four walks.

"We knew we needed to hit the ball," Hood said. "And we did, we hit, hit, hit."

That was something the Eagles failed to do when it counted. Hood faced two over the minimum in the first six innings before giving up three runs in the seventh.

"I just wanted to come in and get them," Hood said. "We just wanted to play hard, play ball and we figured eventually it would come."

As if the Knights saw it coming.

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