Spalding is coping with loss of Gunther

Catcher out two weeks after left-hand injury

High Schools

Notebook

March 23, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The Archbishop Spalding softball team suffered its first loss in nearly two years - but it won't count in the standings.

The top-ranked Cavaliers, owners of 11 straight Catholic League/Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland Conference championships and three Independent Schools state titles, will be forced to play the next two weeks without starting catcher Missy Gunther.

Archbishop Spalding coach Linda Taylor said Gunther dislocated her left thumb and tore some ligaments in her left hand while mishandling a fastball from junior pitcher Jessica Saunders in the third inning of a scrimmage with Severna Park last Friday.

Gunther, a junior, had her hand stabilized in a brace and has been ordered by her doctor not to touch a softball for at least two weeks when the injury will be re-examined.

Taylor said even if Gunther were to return in two weeks, she would probably need another week of conditioning and practice before feeling totally comfortable behind the plate.

"It's going to impact us because Missy's a great catcher," Taylor said. "We're going to have to make adjustments. No ifs, ands or buts."

The first change was moving junior Kristen Marll from her usual shortstop position to catcher. Marll batted 3-for-3 and drove in two runs in the Cavaliers' 11-0 season-opening win against Notre Dame Prep on Monday.

Taylor, who had initially toyed with the idea of moving senior first baseman Tine Ryals to catcher, said she was delighted with Marll's outing.

"She was thrown in with the wolves, but she looked real comfortable out there," Taylor said. "Our pitcher, [junior] Meghan Cowen, was real comfortable with the calls she was making. ... She looked smooth."

Severn girls win

Spring break was a mix of business and pleasure for the Severn girls lacrosse team.

For the second year in a row, the Admirals gave up part of their spring break last week to travel to Orlando, Fla., to participate in an annual lacrosse invitational at the Wide World of Sports Complex near Disney World.

And for the second straight year, Severn walked away with two convincing victories. The Admirals walloped a Connecticut private school, 15-3, and crushed the Sunshine State's defending public school state champion, 22-1.

Although the games were categorized as scrimmages and didn't count in the team's official record, Severn coach Renie Sotiropoulos said the competition was a blessing.

"We worked out a lot of things on our offense that we couldn't do here because the fields were still wet," she said. "We were able to work on double teams and other parts of our offense."

Although the team practiced every day, Sotiropoulos said there was an ample amount of time for the players to visit, among other attractions, Disney World and MGM Studios.

Last season, the Admirals won all three of their scrimmages in Florida and returned to Maryland to post a 9-8-1 mark and a No. 15 ranking in The Sun .

Whether this year will yield similar results is up in the air.

Rescheduling

Wednesday's downpours forced county athletic directors to sift through their calendars for alternative dates.

The Archbishop Spalding softball team's home contest against No. 7 Mount de Sales has been moved to next Tuesday. Eighth-ranked Severna Park's home game against Pallotti will be played next Thursday, and St. Mary's will visit St. John's-Prospect Hall on May 1.

In baseball, No. 5 Old Mill will travel to Urbana on March 31. Archbishop Spalding will play host to John Carroll next Friday.

In boys lacrosse, the highly anticipated top 15 clash between No. 3 Severn and 12th-ranked Severna Park has been moved to April 9 in Severna Park.

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