IND rallies past McDonogh, 5-4 faces Spalding for Catholic title Softball Kevin Eck

May 11, 1993|By Pat Overton | Pat Overton,Contributing Writer

McDonogh sophomore pitcher Teresa Zile started the season on the junior varsity team and she began yesterday's Catholic League tournament semifinal game against the Institute of Notre Dame on the bench.

But Zile was called on to pitch yesterday at Furley Field when the Eagles' No. 1 starter, Kathleen Whalen, left the game after being hit in the knee by a line drive in the first inning.

Zile, who had pitched in just two varsity games in relief roles, almost emerged as the hero. She came within one out of leading her team to victory, but IND rallied for a 5-4 win in nine innings.

The Indians (13-3), winners of 12 straight, will face Spalding in the championship game at McDonogh today at 3:45 p.m.

McDonogh (9-5) took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh, when Zile retired the first two batters on two pitches.

But IND freshman third baseman Robyn Johnson -- who earlier had hit a two-run homer -- tripled down the left-field line and scored the tying run on a passed ball. Zile then got Kristin Ehrman to fly out, sending the game into extra innings.

The game remained tied until the bottom of the ninth, when Tiffany Wilkinson singled home Angie Novak, who had tripled.

"I really think this win will help us morale-wise," said IND first-year coach Sandy Altadonna. "When we were down to our last out I wasn't comfortable, but I didn't give up. I know Robyn is a great hitter. When you have confidence in someone it's hard to give up."

The Eagles had taken a 4-3 lead with two runs in the sixth. Alaina Lawson drew a one-out walk, stole second and scored on Niamh Corcoran's single. Corcoran later scored on Jen Egge's single up the middle.

IND threatened in the bottom of the inning after two McDonogh errors put Shannon Skopp on third with one out. But Zile, who scattered eight hits, struck out Becky Conley and retired Kim Pryce on a fly to center.

Although the loss of Whalen appeared to be a major blow for McDonogh, Zile's pitching style apparently frustrated the Indians.

"Zile is a very slow pitcher," Altadonna said. "We're used to fast pitching. When you see that ball coming in so slow, you want to hit it about a mile. We kept telling the kids to be patient and relax."

IND senior pitcher Christa Engleman overcame some poor defense to record the complete-game victory.

Engleman allowed only one earned run and five singles. She limited the Eagles to three hits after the first inning.

McDonogh had scored two unearned runs in the first on RBI singles by Lawson and Whalen.

The Indians responded with a run in the bottom of the inning when Wilkinson scored on a fielder's choice.

L IND took a 3-2 lead in the third on Johnson's two-run homer.

Spalding 3, Catholic 2

Second-ranked Spalding advanced to the Catholic League final behind Rachel Synowski, who pitched the Cavaliers over Catholic.

Spalding (16-2) will face No. 5 IND for the Catholic League championship today. Although Spalding coach

Jim Nemeth would not give a prediction, he is confident in his team.

"We've been playing some good ball lately," Nemeth said. "Our hitting has been a little erratic but we're pitching well and playing good defense. If we keep that up I think the hitting will take care of itself."

Catholic (9-5) didn't make it easy for Spalding. The Cavaliers le 2-0 going into the sixth inning, but the Cubs came back to tie it.

Left fielder Tara Lafferty hit a one-out single to right. Shortstop Jen Monaldi followed with a single down the right-field line that moved Lafferty to third. A wild throw from the outfield that got by catcher Dana Fidazzo allowed Lafferty to score. Fidazzo tried to throw out Lafferty at the plate, but her throw went high and Monaldi was able to come in and score, tying it at 2.

The Cavaliers got their winning run in the sixth on three hits an a defensive interference call. Crystal Henderson got things started with a one-out infield single and then stole second.

Kelly Mabe followed with a single to center. Henderson was running on the crack of the bat but had to run around shortstop Monaldi and stop at third. After some discussion between Nemeth and the umpires, Henderson was awarded home.

Synowski put Catholic down in order in its half of the seventh to get the win.

"We played very good defense today and that was the key to the win," said Synowski, who struck out eight and walked one.

On offense, Spalding was led by Carrie Parsons, who had three hits and an RBI.

Lafferty played well for the Cubs with two hits and a run scored.

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