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Bloomingdale wins, but challenge looms

Jennifer Owens leads the major softball team to a 6-2 victory against Mountaineer, W.Va. But up next is last year's World Series runnerup.

By THOMAS SIMONETTI
Published July 30, 2005


GULFPORT - Even with a convincing win in its opening game of the Southern Region tournament, Bloomingdale's major softball team had little time to celebrate.

Bloomingdale beat Mountaineer, W.Va., 6-2 on Friday at Gulfport Little League, but the real test is today at 4 p.m. against McLean, Va., last year's World Series runnerup.

"We're going to have to swing the bats a lot better to win this thing," Bloomingdale coach Jeff Carter said.

Bloomingdale got a stellar performance from starter Jennifer Owens, whose no-hitter was broken up by a single up the middle with two outs in the sixth.

That was the only blemish of her night, and she didn't give up an earned run while striking out seven.

"She did what she has been doing all summer," Carter said.

Owens also had two RBIs and scored a run. Catcher Nicci Hopps homered to dead centerfield in the third.

Bloomingdale must finish in the top two in its pool to advance to the semifinals.

VIRGINIA 16, ALABAMA 0: McLean scored four in the first and piled it on in a game ended after four innings because of the mercy rule.

Shortstop Jamie Bell went 3-for-3 with a double, triple and two RBIs. Carolyn Gilbertson had two doubles and four RBIs, and she and Jessie Straub combined on a one-hitter.

NORTH CAROLINA 6, SOUTH CAROLINA 2: East Surry fell behind 2-0 before rallying. In the second, it got run-scoring singles from second baseman Morgan Chilton and leftfielder Porsche Griggs.

In the third, Julianna Bullington singled home centerfielder Courtney Hale. Molly Hamilton earned the win, giving up two runs on three hits in a complete game.

TENNESSEE 11, GEORGIA 1: Leftfielder Amber Reeves capped a five-run first for Marshall County. Up 7-1, it scored four in the fifth to end the game by the mercy rule.

Haley Fagan went the distance, giving up just two hits.