Rain washes out Spalding-Northern Coaches decide not to risk early-season injuries

April 07, 1996|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

PRINCE FREDERICK -- The bitter cold rain that began falling over the Calvert High softball field yesterday afternoon was more than enough to send shivers through the top-ranked and unbeaten Archbishop Spalding players as they tried to warm up for a long-awaited showdown with two-time defending state 4A champion and undefeated Northern of Calvert County.

But the shivers turned to icy stares on the faces of Spalding's Cavaliers when it was decided by both coaches, Spalding's Linda Taylor and Northern's Mike Johnson, not to play the Calvert High tournament game.

Spalding was out to prove it deserved the No. 1 ranking in the Baltimore metro area the past two years. The Cavaliers play in the Catholic League, whose teams some feel are inferior to the highly regarded Anne Arundel County public school teams that won eight straight state 4A championships before yielding to Northern (6-0) the past two years.

However, Taylor and Johnson felt the steady rain and the low 40-degree temperatures would put their players too much at risk of early-season injuries, even though two other games out of four left on the day's schedule were still played late yesterday afternoon in the 10-team tournament that included four Anne Arundel squads.

To pacify her players Taylor said she made Johnson promise to play Spalding (7-0) later this season.

"I looked him right in the eye with all my players watching and he promised that he would play us some time," said Taylor. "I didn't want my girls to think I didn't want to play Northern. I was really disappointed we couldn't play, but the temperatures were dropping and the rain falling. I just didn't think it was worth the risk."

Two other Anne Arundel County teams followed the Spalding-Northern lead and called off their second games in the tournament. Glen Burnie canceled its game with McDonough of Charles County, and Old Mill and Queen Anne's did not play.

However, host Calvert went ahead with its game against Monacan (Va.) and Queen Anne's met LaPlata.

All was not lost for Spalding, because it beat a Calvert team that has already defeated seventh-ranked Arundel and lost a 1-0 decision to Northern.

Kathleen O'Hara tossed a three-hit shutout against Calvert and Heather Fox provided the big offensive hit with a run-scoring double in the second inning.

Crystal Henderson also had a big day for Spalding, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one stolen base.

For Severna Park yesterday, it was a good comeback in the seventh against Northern as the Falcons had the tying runs on first and second with two out but couldn't push them across.

Freshman Amanda Donaldson had two of the four hits for Severna Park in the loss.

In its only game of the day, Old Mill turned back McDonough, 9-3, behind the pitching of Jen Bernard and the hitting of Dawn Faulkner (bases-loaded triple and run-scoring double).

Glen Burnie defeated LaPlata, 6-4, on an Amy Shacklock three-hitter in her first varsity pitching performance.

Pub Date: 4/07/96

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