Story last updated at 3:33 p.m. Thursday, May 16, 2002

Mariners run over Mat-Su teams
By Sepp Jannotta
Staff Writer

Production is the catchword around the Homer High School softball team these days, after the well-oiled Mariner offense combined for 54 runs over four games last weekend.

Outscoring their Mat-Su opponents by a total of 30 runs, the Mariners earned a perfect 4-0 sweep during their road trip north.

The Mariners started with a 13-10 win over Wasilla in the first of two games Friday night. In the nightcap, the Mariners clobbered Houston 17-5 after jumping on the Hawks' pitching for 15 runs in the first two innings.

On Saturday, the Homer girls beat Palmer 14-5 before laying into Wasilla for a 10-4 win.

Over the weekend, the Mariners batted an impressive .412 as a team, with Caitlin Crandall and Nicolete Creamer each posting a .667 average at the plate. Natalie Creamer hit .615 and Daniel Duggar was no slouch at .428.

The Homer girls were also murder on the basepaths, stealing bases at every opportunity. The Mariners recorded 24 stolen bases during Friday's game against Wasilla.

"That's aggressive base running," Mariner coach Scott Bauer said. "The throws were not bad but we just had them beaten."

Just to prove that the Mariners don't just play station-to-station ball, Gretchen Duggar and Britta Baechler each cleared the bases with inside-the-park home runs.

In the first game of the weekend, Wasilla took advantage of several Homer mental mistakes and scored five runs in their final at bat to make it close. It was the only time the Mariners were tested all weekend.

Bauer said his team's defense was solid all around and pointed to the outstanding pitching performances the team got from Crandall and Natalie Creamer.

The Mariners, in their first fully sanctioned season, upped their record to 5-3.

With seven games remaining, Bauer figured the Mariners need to win three to earn a berth to the state softball tournament that begins May 31 in Anchorage.

The Mariners hope to keep the offense rolling this weekend as they host their first home games of the year when Palmer comes to town for three games. The action starts Friday at 6 p.m. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, starting at 9 a.m.