From the HCC sports desk:
Harford Men’s Lacrosse Struggles Early, but Downs Jefferson, 18-12
BEL AIR, Md.—The Harford men’s lacrosse team took an 8-7 deficit into halftime, but scored five straight goals in the third quarter to take a 12-8 lead on the way to the 18-12 victory over Jefferson on Thursday at Harford Stadium.
Freshman Ben Wilson (Bel Air, Md./Fallston) led all scorers with eight points (3g, 5a) on the day, while freshman Dane Grudzien (Joppatowne, Md./Joppatowne) added seven points on four goals and three assists for the Fighting Owls (6-3). Mike Ross paced the Cannoneers (3-2) with seven points on five goals and two assists.
The teams seemed evenly matched for the first two quarters, with three lead changes and five ties, but three straight goals in less than three minutes to start the second half gave Harford a 10-8 lead. The Owls would then capitalize on two slashing penalties by the Cannoneers and add two man-up goals to complete a 5-0 run and take a 12-8 lead. Jefferson was plagued with penalties all day, committing 14 and amassing almost a full quarter (14:30) of penalty time.
The Cannoneers broke up the scoring as Ross netted a goal with 3:00 remaining in the third, but Harford would see six straight goals over the end of the third into the fourth quarter to build a nine goal lead, 18-9 with 8:40 remaining.
Jefferson fought back with two goals of its own and an own goal by Harford, but fell to the Owls, 18-12.
Harford dominated statistically, outshooting Jefferson, 53-35, tallying 71 ground balls to the Cannoneers’ 47 and winning 24 face-offs to Jefferson’s eight. Harford was also 4-for-10 on extra-man opportunities, while Jefferson was 0-for-4, but the Cannoneers did hold the upper hand as Joe DiTullio and Dan Donaldson combined for 22 saves, while freshmen Tim Kemena (West Chester, Pa./West Chester Henderson) and Mike Miller (Parkville, Md./Parkville) totaled 11. DiTullio stopped 21 shots in 51:25, Donaldson made one save in 8:35, Kemena totaled nine stops in 55:58 and Miller stopped two in 4:02.
The Fighting Owls return to action on Thursday when they host No. 1 CCBC-Essex at 7:00 p.m.
Harford Softball Drops Doubleheader to No. 17 Chesapeake, 10-6 (9 inn.) and 9-3
BEL AIR, Md.—The Harford softball team tied things up in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings, but gave up four runs on four errors in the ninth as it fell to No. 17 Chesapeake, 10-6 (9 inn.) in game one on Thursday at Harford Softball Field. The Skipjacks (11-3, 4-0 MDJUCO) also downed the Fighting Owls (4-6, 2-6 MDJUCO), 9-3 in game two of the doubleheader.
Freshman Mariah Ripken (Havre de Grace, Md./Havre de Grace/Kutztown) had a day at the plate in game one, going 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, a run and a walk, while Jordan Wright led Chesapeake in the first contest, going 5-for-6 with one run scored.
Ripken (1-1) also suffered the hard-luck loss, giving up 10 runs (six earned) on 16 hits and striking out six in nine innings, while Wright (4-0) earned the win after pitching 4.2 innings in relief and allowing just one run (unearned) on five hits and fanning four batters.
Chesapeake quickly took a 1-0 lead in the first thanks to a solo homer from Tiffeny Ricks, but the Owls would capitalize on three Skipjack errors in the second to knot things at one.
A three-run fourth inning for the visitors, put Harford down, 4-1, but the Owls added one in the bottom of the inning to cut the deficit to two, 4-2, before taking the lead in the fifth.
An RBI single from freshman Jessica Kraft (Jarrettsville, Md./John Carroll) and a two-run RBI single by freshman Rischelle Griffin (Pylesville, Md./North Harford) put Harford up, 5-4, only to have the Skipjacks add two runs on Janean Lowenberger’s two-run RBI triple in the top of the sixth and take back the lead, 6-5.
Harford once again took advantage of Chesapeake miscues in the bottom of the seventh, scoring one run to tie things up and force extra innings.
Neither team would make a mark in the eighth, but three consecutive Owl errors would give Chesapeake all the runners it needed as the Skipjacks tallied four runs in the ninth.
Harford managed to get two runners on after leading off the inning with a double-play in the bottom of the ninth, but would get no further as Chesapeake claimed the 10-6, nine-inning win.
Game two started much the same way, with Chesapeake scoring one in the first and the Owls tying things up in the second. The Skipjacks would add two to take a 3-1 after the third and blew the game wide open with five runs in the fifth.
Harford would tally one run in the sixth and seventh, while Chesapeake also added one in the seventh as the Skipjacks completed the doubleheader sweep with a 9-3 win.
The Fighting Owls return to action on Saturday when they host the College of Southern Maryland in a doubleheader at 12:00 p.m.