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Convention 2010
June 23-26
Marriott City Center,
Salt Lake City


For information:
Garry D. Howard:
E-mail | 414-224-2306

Jack Berninger:
E-mail | 804-741-1565

Workshop materials

Judging 2010
March 6-10
Radisson WorldGate,
Kissimmee, Fla.


For information:
Phil Kaplan:
E-mail | 865-342-6285

Jack Berninger:
E-mail | 804-741-1565

Mandatory dates:
Sunday: April 5
Weekday: Tue., Feb. 24

Under 40,000 circulation
Game story
Fourth place
Jackets hold share of first
McAllister pitches, scores winning run

By DAVE UTNIK
Potomac News

Mickey McAllister's thumb was sore, her leg was bleeding and her white Osbourn Park softball jersey was a filthy, dirt-streaked mess.

As she stood on the infield grass following a 6-5 victory over rival Gar-Field Friday afternoon, the Yellow Jackets junior wondered if she'd ever felt better in her life.

Knowing that the Yellow Jackets needed a win to keep their Cardinal District championship hopes alive, McAllister pitched until her bruised right thumb was swollen. Then, after giving her teammates four gutsy innings in the circle, she sprinted home from third base with a bloody left knee in the eighth inning to knock the visiting Indians out of first place.

McAllister, who was advised not to play softball until her thumb had time to heal, singled into right field to lead off the game-winning rally. She stole second, advanced to third on Gar-Field's fifth error of the day and scored without a throw home when freshman Erin Myers hit a one-out chopper to shortstop.

"I didn't even see the play," McAllister said. "I just looked down and ran."

She didn't stop running until she was swarmed by screaming teammates outside the Osbourn Park dugout. With their first victory over Gar-Field in Willie Lemay's four years as head coach, the Yellow Jackets improved to 12-6 overall and held onto a share of the district lead at 10-2.

"I'm not supposed to play right now. It would be better for me if I didn't, but it's for the team," McAllister said.

Because of her sore thumb, McAllister was limited to throwing fastballs and changeups, but that combination worked just fine.

McAllister faced 18 batters and left the circle with a 5-3 lead. She allowed four hits, struck out two and was backed up by a pair of double plays as the Yellow Jackets knocked defending champion Gar-Field into third place.

"I didn't know how many innings I could go, but I definitely wanted to play. All season long we've talked about beating Gar-Field," McAllister said. "I wish I could have finished the game, but I knew after the fourth inning I couldn't throw any more pitches."

The Indians rallied to tie the game at 5 on pinch-hitter Angela Zamora's two-run single in the sixth. But sophomore reliever Claire Sanchez shut Gar-Field out without allowing another hit the rest of the way to earn the victory.

"We knew what we needed to do, we just didn't get it done," Gar-Field coach Mike McDonald said. "We helped them out a little bit."

With one week remaining in the regular season, a three-team race for first place swayed in Osbourn Park's favor. The Yellow Jackets, who earned a day off from practice today so the team's juniors and seniors can attend tonight's prom, have a game against co-leader Stonewall Jackson on Tuesday. They finish up against Forest Park Thursday.

Gar-Field (14-4, 9-3) hosts Osbourn Tuesday and travels to Woodbridge on Thursday.

"We just have to regroup from this," McDonald said. "Today was a big game for both teams, but there is a lot of season left. We have to come back strong."

The Indians started strong against OP. Sophomore catcher Sam Posey doubled twice and scored two runs, but Gar-Field stranded four runners in scoring position and couldn't build on an early 2-0 advantage.

The Yellow Jackets, who combined for nine hits against Indians' ace Kelly Brown, came up with three runs in the third and two more in the fourth.

Sophomore Laura Davis, who went 2 for 2, scored in both innings. Freshman shortstop Tamara Poles and senior catcher Katie Stauffer each had RBI singles and Myers capped a two-hit day by beating out Leilani Mafuli's throw to first on the final play of the game.




© 2009 The Dallas Morning News