No. 2 Spalding beats nervous IND, 4-0

April 09, 1993|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Contributing Writer

Institute of Notre Dame coach Sandy Altadonna said he sensed mixed emotions among his 12th-ranked Indians heading into yesterday's softball game against defending Catholic League champion Archbishop Spalding.

"A lot of our players have been looking forward to the game, and a lot of them were dreading it," Altadonna said. "But they were all feeling the pressure, and they were all playing tight."

The Indians committed eight errors and second-ranked Spalding capitalized on each of them en route to a 4-0 victory.

What the Indians didn't do to hurt their own chances, Spalding pitcher Rachel Synowski did for them. The junior windmill-style pitcher struck out 13 and yielded only two walks in a one-hit performance that keeps the Cavaliers atop the Catholic League standings with a 3-0 record.

"We didn't hit Christa [Engleman] very well and that's pretty explainable because she's a good pitcher, but the kids put the ball in play when we needed them to and we manufactured some runs," said Spalding coach Jim Nemeth, who now must prepare his team for this weekend's showdown with Class 4A power Old Mill in Saturday's North County Tournament.

"IND has a young catcher back there and she worked really hard, but she had to dig a lot of balls out of the dirt and we tried to take advantage of that. We went with high-percentage stuff today."

After coming up empty with runners aboard in the second and thirdinnings, the Cavaliers scored in the top of the fourth.

Kathleen Legg opened with a single but was sent back to the bench when Amy Pavloski hit into a fielder's choice. Pavloski advanced to second on a passed ball and scored when Synowski lined a one-out single to center field.

The Cavaliers continued to take advantage of Indian miscues in the fifth inning. Kari Thompson started things for the Cavs with a single, stole second and moved to third when the catcher's throw sailed into the outfield. Two pitches later, Thompson was high-fiving teammates after being bunted home by Crystal Henderson.

In the fifth, Kelly Mabe walked, moved to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a throwing error and scored on a passed ball.

The Cavaliers added an insurance run in the seventh inning when pinch runner Lisa Laumann scored from third on an error.

Engleman spoiled Synowski's bid for a no-hitter when she lined a singled to right with one out in the seventh.

"We made some mental mistakes and we made some physical mistakes and you just can't do that against a team like this and expect to win," said Altadonna, whose team slipped to 1-3 in the Catholic League. "Spalding is a top-notch team. Synowski is an excellent pitcher, and she has a good team behind her.

"I'm just glad we've gotten this game out of the way. Maybe now we can get out there, play some ball and have a little fun."

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