Two hits provide Spalding enough pop to stop Catholic

Four Cubs errors allow No. 1 to dribble by, 3-0

Softball

High Schools

April 27, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Archbishop Spalding softball coach Linda Taylor may be dismayed about the process, but she can't argue with the results.

Despite gaining just two hits, the top-ranked Cavaliers made the most of their opportunities in a 3-0 home victory over No. 14 Catholic at Randazzo Park in Severn yesterday.

Four Cubs errors contributed to all three of Archbishop Spalding's runs, which moved the Cavaliers to 14-1 overall and 11-1 in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.

Taylor was still worried enough about her team's weak hitting to organize a 10-minute meeting after the game.

"We were struggling a little bit at the plate," she said. "We had a nice long talk after the game, and I think you're going to see a different team [today at Mercy] offensively."

Senior first baseman Tine Ryals, who drove in two runs with one of Archbishop Spalding's two singles, said although pinpointing the problem hasn't been easy, even one run can be critical between two IAAM Conference rivals.

"I think it's a mental problem," she said. "We'd like to score more than one run if we can, but one run can make a big difference in a game like this."

Indeed, the Cavaliers - who extended their winning streak to 11 - sent out their ace in junior pitcher Jessica Saunders, while Catholic was represented by No. 1 starter Kelley Tiesi, a junior.

Saunders (8-0), the All-Metro Player of the Year last season, struck out six and allowed one single.

Tiesi (7-7-1) fanned eight Archbishop Spalding batters, but was hurt by defensive miscues.

Tiesi opened the third inning striking out Lindsey Flis, but Melissa Patterson could not hold onto the ball on the third strike, allowing Flis to reach first.

After a fielder's choice moved Flis to second and Tiesi hit junior Missy Gunther with a pitch, Tiesi's wild pitch on a 1-0 count allowed the runners to move to second and third.

Sophomore Keri Lounge's grounder to junior third baseman Laura Dantoni gave Flis enough time to score.

Catholic coach Len Tiesi said the Cubs (7-7-1, 7-5 IAAM) hurt themselves defensively.

"This is a tough league to score runs in," he said. "It's puts a lot of pressure on the defense, and if you make mistakes on defense, it's going to cost you games."

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