Spalding's win streak halted at 37 games

Mount de Sales stuns top-ranked Cavaliers, 1-0


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.

"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."

The Cavaliers went 27-0 last season en route to their third consecutive Independent Schools state title and 11th straight Catholic League/IAAM Conference crowns. While one setback isn't likely to deter Spalding from vying for more postseason accolades, yesterday's loss magnified the challenge facing the defending champions.

"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."

Indeed, 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 junior shortstop Christine Sheridan. The throw home by Sheridan was too late to catch Clark, and that was all the run support Taylor would need.

Seven returning Sailors remembered last year's tough 3-0 loss to the Cavaliers in the IAAM Conference Tournament final.

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

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