Mt. de Sales jolts No. 1 Spalding

Cavaliers' win streak ends at 37 games, 1-0

Softball

High Schools

March 28, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Perhaps the Archbishop Spalding softball team knew this time would come. If so, the players still weren't prepared for the end to their daunting streak.

Eighth-ranked Mount de Sales halted the host Cavaliers' run of 37 straight victories and shocked the No. 1 program in the metropolitan area, 1-0, yesterday at Randazzo Park in Severn.

The victory helped the Sailors improve to 3-1 overall and in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference, and touched off a wild celebration after the game.

"I can't control myself," said sophomore pitcher Jessica Taylor, who earned the win. "I want to cry. I'm just so excited."

On the other side of the diamond, the disappointment was etched across the faces of several Archbishop Spalding players.

"I don't know if words can explain how I feel," said junior pitcher Meg Cowen. "An undefeated record meant a lot. It's really hard to realize that we don't have that right now."

"I've always been a firm believer that anybody can beat anybody on any given day," said Cavaliers coach Linda Taylor. "Spalding has been known for having a great lineup of excellent hitters. That team was not here today."

The Cavaliers (3-1 overall, 2-1 in the conference) had runners on third base in the second, third, fourth and sixth innings, but couldn't push a single run across the plate.

And while Cowen struck out 11 Mount de Sales batters, she was outdueled by Taylor, who struck out eight and found a way to escape jams.

Taylor also helped out at the plate. After junior first baseman Cynthia Clark opened the fourth inning with a triple to right field, Taylor slapped a grounder to Archbishop Spalding junior shortstop Christine Sheridan.

Sheridan's throw to home was too late to catch Clark, and that was all the run support Taylor would need.

"They wanted it," Mount de Sales coach Pete Waskiewicz said. "The tough part is doing it again."

Eastern Tech 5, Catonsville 3: With two scrimmages and regular-season games washed away because of bad weather, the Mavericks found themselves having to open their campaign against the state 2A semifinalist Comets.

As expected, Eastern Tech's body of work wasn't pretty. But the end result was more than satisfactory for the hosts, who held off the Comets in an early season matchup of Baltimore County strongholds.

"It was sloppy, we gave them four outs every inning," said Eastern Tech coach Dave Scrivener. "It was a good win. Next time, they'll beat our brains in."

The Mavericks (1-0) were able to overcome a four-error performance with a complete-game showing by freshman starter Tina Birchfield, who left two runners on in the final inning. Birchfield held Catonsville, which is coming off its first state semifinal appearance in 22 seasons, scoreless the last four innings.

Derek Toney contributed to this article.

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