Northeast right fielder Heather Isaac stepped to the plate facing Archbishop Spalding pitching ace Kim Sheridan with two outs in the third inning when she was distracted by a little voice from behind the Upton Park backstop.
"My little niece said, 'Heather, I love you and I want a hit,' " said Isaac. "I said, 'All right -- and I hit it.' "
Isaac's bloop single, which sailed over second base, scored teammate Stacy Reynolds and turned out to be all the top-ranked Eagles (3-0) needed to secure their 59th straight victory, 1-0, over the third-ranked defending Baltimore Catholic League champion Cavaliers (4-1) in a non-league game.
The winning streak is the sixth-longest nationally in softball history.
The hit, one of three for the three-time defending Class 2A state champion Eagles against Sheridan (eight strikeouts, two walks), denied the Spalding pitcher her fifth straight shutout.
Sheridan was coming off a 2-0 victory over defending Class 4A state champion Chesapeake, but Northeast coach Lynn Pitonzo prepared her team by practicing with the pitching machine turned all the way up.
Meanwhile, Northeast pitcher Kristy Zulka picked up her third shutout, striking out four, walking none and allowing two hits( she had given up one all season).
"I was nervous before the game, so I'm glad it's over," said Zulka, who was 17-0 last season. "This was our toughest game so far."
Spalding's best chance to score came in the fifth inning with one out and runners on second and third base. Kelly Mabe flied out and Rachel Synowski was out at first.
"Northeast played great defense when they had to," said Spalding coach Jim Nemeth. "They're a great team."