Spalding makes title game, topping IND, 4-2

Frosh Saunders, Sheridan shine

Gators final foe

May 13, 1999|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Looking for a boost after a slow start to yesterday's Catholic League semifinal against Institute of Notre Dame, No. 4-ranked Archbishop Spalding found some freshman energy in the fourth inning.

On the mound, it came from Jessica Saunders. At the plate, Christine Sheridan was the supplier.

By game's end, Saunders worked four perfect innings in relief; Sheridan had a double, single, three RBIs and a run -- and the Cavaliers had an invitation to tomorrow's Catholic League championship game with a come-from-behind 4-2 win over the Indians at Randazzo Park.

The Cavaliers (20-7) will meet No. 10 Seton Keough -- 4-2 upset winners over No. 5 Mount de Sales, the defending champion, in yesterday's other semifinal -- at 5: 30 p.m. tomorrow at Towson University. Spalding and Seton Keough split two regular-season games.

For awhile yesterday, it didn't look like the Cavaliers would be making the championship trip.

IND (14-10) scratched across single runs in the second and third innings off senior starter Sabrina Ryals to take a 2-0 lead, and Indians pitcher Sarah Galloway had the Cavaliers' offense in check.

Things changed in the fourth, starting with Saunders, who went on to retire all 12 batters she faced to improve to 7-2 on the season.

The offense came with her.

Julie Bahus singled in the bottom of the fourth and scored on Sheridan's double down the third-base line. Tine Ryals tied the game, 2-2, with a delayed-suicide squeeze bunt to score Sheridan.

"Once we got two runs across, that took a lot of weight off everyone's shoulders and let us relax and play our games," said Spalding coach Linda Taylor. "It turned out Sabrina [Ryals] had a sinus headache that I didn't find out about until game time, so Jessica came in and did what she's been doing all year."

Sheridan was at it again in the fifth, this time hitting a two-out single to left to provide the winning 4-2 margin.

Saunders was dominant, striking out eight of the 12 batters she faced. Only Galloway's fly ball to left to end the sixth left the infield against her.

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