Eight high school teams competed in the sixth annual Patterson tournament, which was designed to get Baltimore City schools more involved in softball, but the Harford County entry -- John Carroll -- won the title with a 9-7 victory over Catholic yesterday.
With two outs and Catholic leading 7-6 in the seventh inning of the championship game, junior Shannon Lawlor got a base hit to drive in two runs for the Patriots for a 8-7 lead, their first of the game. Catcher Paige Boyle singled to drive in Lawlor.
"The girls were up for this game," said John Carroll coach Neal Drexel. "We lost to Catholic 5-4 earlier in the season and were hoping to come back and play them again."
Catholic coach Chris Hofferbert said, "Both teams needed to win the championship. The wind was a big factor and everybody was fatigued. But the best team won."
John Carroll junior pitcher April Lynch, the tournament's MVP, struck out 10 batters and scored three runs.
"I knew I had to pitch in all three games and what I think helped was when we were down, we would do cheers each inning to help everyone come together," she said.
John Carroll defeated Mercy, the tournament's defending champion, 10-1 in a quarterfinal match and then went on to defeat McDonogh, 8-6, in a semifinal game.
Catholic beat Southern, 22-6, in another quarterfinal game where senior pitcher Heather Rippel hit a home run for the Cubs.
Tournament host Patterson was edged by McDonogh, 10-7, in a quarterfinal.
Elkton, which defeated Western 19-1 in the fourth quarterfinal, fell in the semifinals to Catholic, 21-6.
Defending District 9 City champions Western, was clipped by Patterson, 16-14, in a consolation game. Christy Kahl and Shannon Delaney hit home runs for Patterson.
Mercy defeated Southern-B, 18-3, in the second consolation game. Denise Holthaus hit a home run for the Sharpshooters.
Patterson, Southern and Western had a two-game restriction in the tournament. If any of them had won their quarterfinal and semifinal games, they would not have been able to compete in the championship game. The public school rule states that no more than two tournament games can be played in addition to the regular 17-game schedule.
"This could have been complicated," said tournament co-chairman coach Derek Maki, whose team was the 1992 champions.