Seton Keough survives tough stretch

April 12, 1996|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

With two good pitchers on varsity and another on junior varsity, Seton Keough softball coach Chris Ashby thought the Gators were set for the season. Instead, he found himself without a single pitcher for last week's game against Mount de Sales.

The trouble started before the season opener when junior was diagnosed with mono and sidelined for the season. Freshman Jessica Rock stepped in and pitched wins over Catholic (15-9) and IND (8-6).

Then Rock got sick, so Ashby brought sophomore Lauren

Stevens up from JV. Before the next game, Stevens broke her hand playing club volleyball.

Ashby had to call on catcher Melissa Young to fill in against Mount de Sales. She held her own for a while and the Gators even had a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning. But her control eventually failed and the Sailors won, 14-2.

Rock returned in time to face No. 1 Spalding, but the Cavaliers proved too much for the Gators, taking an 11-0 victory.

"To be 2-2 after all we've gone through says a lot about this team. This is the most solid I've seen Seton Keough in four years. As long as we have Jessica, we should be very competitive," said Ashby, who has just two seniors on his 15-girl roster.

A team without a field

Catholic High's girls lacrosse team already has tripled last season's win total -- no small feat considering the Cubs have no regulation practice field.

"They really had no concept of what a full field was," said new coach Mary Ann Sattler. "When you can't practice on a full field, you have no game sense. You have to learn by doing and we're only able to do that during a game."

Sattler has a practice swath about a quarter of regulation size, so the players have a much better understanding of line attack and line defense than the midfield game.

Still, they notched wins over AIS B Division foes Towson Catholic, 14-4, the only team they beat last year; Glenelg Country School, 13-11, and Oldfields, 13-10.

Freshman Becky Bieneman leads the Cubs with 27 goals and an assist through five games, with Natalie Loftus (nine goals, five assists) and Kim Orpin (seven, four) also contributing. Defensively, the Cubs have been strong with Kelly Zakrzewski, Vicki Battaglia, Cara Reinhardt, Kelly Benjamin and Jenny Falk.

Moving up

Notre Dame Prep's softball team earned its first ranking this week, entering the poll at No. 15 after starting off the season 3-0.

In only their second season, the Pirates opened with wins over Lutheran, 15-9, Beth Tfiloh, 8-0, and IND, 9-7. They've done it with no seniors in the lineup.

Their ace, Michelle Garvey, won all three games. The junior throws in the 55-60 mph range and has improved her control.

Besides Garvey, the Pirates also have a strong group of infielders in Ann Mongeli, Amanda Tydings, Emily Lessner and Tiffanie Baker.

Last year, most of them helped the Pirates to a 9-1 season and the championship of an informal post-season AIS tournament. This year, the AIS will hold its first official softball tournament, and the Pirates certainly are a favorite.

"It's been so much fun to see this team come together," said Ed Donnellan, who coaches the team along with Kathy Naughton. "The win over IND was great. It's great to have a chance to play a team outside the AIS."

Going for three

Top-ranked Roland Park goes after its third straight win in its own invitational girls lacrosse tournament tomorrow.

The Reds meet West Chester-Henderson, Pa., at 10 a.m. while No. 5 St. Mary's battles No. 9 Mount Hebron at 11: 15 a.m..

In each of the past three years, the team that has won the tournament has gone on to end the season as area's No. 1 team. Mount Hebron beat the Reds the first year, but the Reds have beaten the Vikings the past two years.

This is St. Mary's first time in the tournament, which previously had included the Reds, the Vikings and two out-of-state teams.

County showdown reset

The big showdown in Baltimore County girls lacrosse -- No. 6 Loch Raven at No. 11 Dulaney -- postponed two weeks ago, will be made up April 22.

Before the county divided girls lacrosse into strong and weak leagues, the two teams often met only for the county title. Now just one can advance to the championship game against the Division II winner.

The Lions never have beaten Loch Raven, which has won eight straight county titles.

Pub Date: 4/12/96

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