"A hit here or an overthrow there" was all Archbishop Spalding hurler Kim Sheridan was hoping for in the Cavaliers' rematch with Old Millyesterday at Randazzo Softball Park in Severn.
Spalding outhit Old Mill, 5-3, but the defense-minded Patriots kept their errors at a minimum and upped their record to 11-0 with a 1-0 victory over the Cavaliers.
The Cavaliers (10-3) loaded the bases in the first and second innings, but came up empty, thanks to some heads-up plays by Old Mill's infield unit.
Old Mill shortstop Christine Baer got the Patriots out of a jam in the first inning when she fielded a hard grounder and alertly fired home to catcher Lori Lynch for the force-out.
Old Mill pitcher Jen Schmittle nearly cost her team a run in the second inning when she rolled a wild pitch past Lynch with the bases loaded. Lynch, however, got to the ball in time and made the throw to Schmittlewho applied the tag on left fielder Amy Povloski.
"You got to bring those runs home," said Spalding coach Jim Nemeth, whose team dropped a 3-2 decision to the Pats last Saturday in the first round of theNorth County Holiday Tournament. "You have to give credit to Old Mill. They're fundamentally sound, and that's what's going to win them astate championship."
Sheridan said, "We definitely should have scored in the first two innings. I think if we scored the first run, itwould have been a whole different ballgame. I can't believe how manypeople we left on base."
Old Mill, the metro area's top-ranked team, failed to get a runner on base until the top of the fourth when Schmittle dropped a single into shallow right-center. Schmittle's staywas short-lived, as she was thrown out attempting to steal second byJen McKeldin.
The Patriots got another runner aboard in the top of the fifth when Sarah Storrs singled to right, but she was left stranded after Sheridan swiftly ended the inning with two of her 11 strikeouts.
The game appeared destined for extra innings before Sheridan dropped a routine pop-up with one away in the seventh inning.
"Idon't know what happened," she said. "I don't know if I took my eye off of it or it hit the wrong part of my glove. I just walked back, and the next thing I know it's on the ground."
Jen Bostak followed with a pop fly to shallow right that Spalding second baseman Amy Councilman dropped. Storrs came to the plate and delivered what prove to be the winning single as she trickled one through the gap between third and short to bring home pinch-runner Tracey Kaszuba.
"I was just concentrating on making contact," said Storrs. "I was really, really, really, nervous, but I try not to think about what I have to do, and concentrate on hitting the ball." Nemeth said, "You make errors against a good team, and they'll kill you. I think we made two or threein a row in the top of the seventh, and you don't do that to a good team.
"Kim can probably catch a hundred thousand billion pop-ups in a row. She's a good fielder and she rarely makes a mental or physical error."
Old Mill coach Lori Darnall said, "In the end, the samething that keeps winning us games won us this game and that is, it took all 15 of our people. It took people coming off the bench to pinch run,and it took all 15 people cheering. That's exactly what got us through this game."