No. 12 North County allows nothing, takes Classic title

Beating No. 5 Chesapeake, No. 13 Catholic, Knights win over 2 teams on tiebreaker


March 31, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The unexpected became reality for the North County softball team.

The No. 12 Knights registered two shutout wins and bested a field that included eight Top 15 programs to capture the Cavalier Classic last night at Randazzo Park in Severn.

Although North County's 2-0 record in the tournament was matched by No. 11 Northeast and unranked Broadneck, the Knights were awarded the trophy by winning the first tiebreaker of giving up the fewest runs - zero.

North County edged No. 5 Chesapeake, 1-0, and defeated No. 13 Catholic, 5-0. By contrast, Northeast and Broadneck each allowed two runs in their two victories.

"I didn't expect to get two shutouts," said Knights coach Bobby Boyd, whose squad improved to 3-1. "I expected the Chesapeake game to be a close game, and I thought that they'd be capable of plating a run or two. Playing against Catholic was a matter of if we could put runs across against [pitcher] Kelley [Tiesi]."

North County has won the Cavalier Classic twice in the past three seasons. The last time the Knights claimed the title was in 2000, when they also grabbed the Class 4A state title under former coach Brian Love.

That's a positive sign, said senior Heather Frye, a member of the 2000 team.

"The year we won states, it went the same way," she said. "We have a very good team. We just need to reap our goals."

In the upset of Chesapeake, North County senior pitcher Brittany Boyd escaped jams in the fourth and sixth innings, while sophomore Jennifer Roantes' lone RBI single in the fourth gave the Knights all the offense they would need.

Against Catholic, freshman Beth Mullins struck out nine and allowed just three hits. Senior Julie Krieger went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.

Northeast, last year's Cavalier Classic champion, nipped Broadneck for second place by virtue of the second tiebreaker of scoring more runs.

The Knights (3-1) upended No. 7 Severna Park, 6-2, and Parkdale of Prince George's County, 4-0.

"I was very pleased with their performance," said Northeast coach Marianne Shultz. "There were a few errors that we capitalized on. That's the type of scrappiness I need from this team."

Broadneck improved to 4-0 by defeating Parkdale, 6-2, and No. 10 Mount de Sales, 3-0.

Teams that finished the day with 1-1 records included No. 2 Archbishop Spalding, the tournament host, Chesapeake, No. 6 Glen Burnie and Severna Park.

Chesapeake (5-1) provided perhaps the surprise of the day when the Cougars scored a run each in the fifth and sixth innings to nip Spalding, 2-1.

Sophomore Tracey Dahlen, who hit a triple and a single in three at-bats and also scored a run, said Chesapeake was motivated by its earlier loss to North County.

"We woke up a lot," she said. "We knew that we had to play with focus in the second game."

The Cavaliers (3-1) rebounded by defeating Glen Burnie, 3-0, on the strength of a no-hitter from senior pitcher Meg Cowen, who threw a no-hitter last season.

"I don't think any pitcher expects to do that," said Cowen, who still was unhappy about the loss to Chesapeake. "No win will ever make up for any loss. All we can do is bounce back and play better."

Spalding coach Linda Taylor said the difference was Cowen.

"I'm just really happy for her," Taylor said. "She pitched a great game. She basically picked us all up."

The Gophers (3-2) routed Mount de Sales, 8-0, while Severna Park (2-2) squeaked past Catholic, 1-0.

Teams that finished with 0-2 marks were Mount de Sales (0-5), Catholic (1-3) and Parkdale.

NOTES: Several pitchers threw one-hitters, including Broadneck freshman Jessie Battista against Mount de Sales, Northeast senior Kristin Duvall against Parkdale and Severna Park senior Laura Gibson against Catholic. ... Broadneck senior Lindsay Woody supplied the only home run of the tournament. She connected on a bases-empty blast in the second inning of the win against Mount de Sales.

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