`On Fire' Ray, Spalding Dominate Pallotti, 9-0

Pitcher, Team Get Revenge For Controversial Loss

April 26, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Archbishop Spalding's Crystal Ray didn't just shut down perennial Washington-area power Pallotti, 9-0, on two singles and no walks in Severn yesterday.

She blew away the Panthers at Randazzo Field, striking out 13 and allowing only one runner to reach second.

The 5-foot-11 senior right-hander had the Laurel team's hitters waving at changeups, curves, fastballs, rise-balls and knuckleballs.

"We see some good pitchers in our league," said losing Pallotti pitcher Andi Miller, who had one of the two hits off Ray. "But no one has that much speed, and they don't move the ball around as much as Crystal does."

Ray added to the dream afternoon by slamming a bases-loaded triple to right field in the third, giving top-ranked Spalding (13-0) a 4-0 lead. Then, she scored on a wild pitch in the five-run inning.

"The game changed for me when Ray hit that triple," said Miller, who did not allow a hit until Julie Janyska hit a soft liner to center with one out in the third.

To make matters worse for Pallotti, Ray was throwing even faster than she usually does, explaining that she was "psyched" because the Panthers gave her one of her two losses last spring.

"If feels good after what happened last year against Pallotti," Ray said of a controversial 4-3 setback in which she walked home the deciding run after apparently having the hitter struck out. "I'd have to say this was my best pitching effort by far in four years at Spalding. Everything was working."

Ray struck out eight of the first nine Pallotti (10-5) batters and had a no-hitter until Miller smacked a changeup for a two-out single to center in the fourth inning.

The other hit for Pallotti, ranked sixth in the Washington-metro area this season, came in the sixth inning, a single to center by Joey Reedy.

Spalding catcher Beth Yourishin said, "Crystal had the stuff to throw a no-hitter. She was on fire. Her curve and changeup were unbelievable."

The entire Spalding team played inspired softball, bunting successfully in clutch situations, making outstanding defensive plays, such as first baseman Michelle Stack's diving catch of a foul pop near home plate in the fourth inning, and hitting with runners on base.

Sophomore shortstop Sabrina Ryals had two doubles that drove in three runs, and second baseman Kathleen O'Hara had two RBIs on a single and safety squeeze bunt.

Centennial 5, No. 11 Howard 3: Left-hander Emily Hall pitched 12 innings, gave up five hits, three runs and struck out 14 batters for the visiting Eagles (9-6).

Pub Date: 4/26/97

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