Mt. de Sales outlasts Spalding, hangs on for 5-4 win in 9 innings Cavs coach Taylor OK after suffering dehydration

Catholic League softball

May 20, 1998|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Yesterday's Catholic League Tournament championship game at Towson University was emotionally draining for everyone from players to coaches to spectators.

And when the final out was recorded in dramatic fashion, it was underdog Mount de Sales that was celebrating, while players from Archbishop Spalding either sobbed or stood in stunned disbelief.

The fifth-ranked Sailors, three years removed from an 0-17 season, rallied from a two-run deficit in the seventh inning to defeat the second-ranked Cavaliers, 5-4 in nine innings, to win their first Catholic League title. Spalding (16-4) was seeking its fifth straight title and ninth in 10 years.

The drama on the field, however, was temporarily overshadowed by concern for Spalding coach Linda Taylor, who collapsed in front of the Spalding bench during the bottom of the ninth inning.

Taylor, who is six months pregnant, regained consciousness after a few minutes and was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, where she was treated for dehydration and released last night.

It was apparent that something was wrong with Taylor in the top of the ninth when she went back to the bench after arguing a call for several minutes with the umpires. At that point, she sat on the ground as players applied cold towels to her neck.

The game proceeded and Mount de Sales (16-4), which scored two runs in the top of the ninth to take a 5-3 lead, was one out away from the title after pitcher Christy Urban retired the first two batters in the bottom of the inning.

Just as Bridget LaPorte kept the Cavaliers' hopes alive by singling to left, Taylor collapsed. The game was halted for nearly 25 minutes before Taylor was taken away in an ambulance.

When play resumed, the Cavaliers were able to keep their heads in the game, as Michelle Marll reached on an infield single to put runners on first and second.

Amanda Stefanski then hit a drive over the head of center fielder Kerry Poisal, scoring LaPorte from second.

Stefanski was digging for third and Marll was heading to the plate when Poisal relayed the ball to shortstop Julie Bahr, who threw to third baseman Stephanie Waskiewicz, who applied the tag on Stefanski for the third out and the end of the game. The umpires ruled that Stefanski was tagged out before Marll crossed the plate with the tying run.

"The umpire was right on top of it and that's all I have to say," said Spalding assistant coach Bill O'Hara. "Amanda Stefanski came up with a tremendous shot and I felt like we had tied the game up with Amanda on third, but it wasn't to be."

Said Mount de Sales coach Pete Waskiewicz: "I was watching both [the play at third and the runner attempting to score]. The home plate umpire and the base umpire were watching so there wasn't any question. [Marll] made a big wide turn and I knew she didn't score."

There also was controversy in the top of the ninth. With runners at second and third and one out, Urban popped out to shortstop Tina Ryals, who appeared to trip over second base.

When Ryals went down, Emily Miller tagged up from third and scored to break the 3-3 tie, giving the Sailors their first lead. Ryals threw wildly to home past catcher Beth Yourishin, which also scored Suzanne Smith from second. Taylor unsuccessfully argued that Smith had interfered with Ryals at second base.

The Sailors, who lost both regular-season meetings with Spalding, had scored two runs in the seventh to rally from a 3-1 deficit, tying the game on a two-out RBI single by Poisal (3-for-5).

Urban allowed just one hit after the first inning until Spalding's two-out rally in the ninth.

Pub Date: 5/20/98

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