2 HRs in 7th lift No. 3 Spalding to 2-1 win over No. 12 Catholic

Softball

May 01, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Welcome back, Mrs. Taylor.

With Linda Taylor fully recovered and coaching the Archbishop Spalding softball team once again, the third-ranked Cavaliers marked her return with a thrilling, come-from-behind, 2-1 victory over No. 12 Catholic yesterday at Herring Run Park.

Trailing 1-0 in the top of the seventh inning, senior Christine Sheridan and junior Keri Lounge hit back-to-back home runs to pull visiting Spalding into second place in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference standings (8-1, 11-6 overall).

"It's nice to be able to fall back and know that when the meat of the lineup is coming up, they can come through," Sheridan said. "But Coach [Taylor] did ask us if we could do it earlier next time."

First-place Pallotti (9-1) lost to No. 4 Institute of Notre Dame yesterday, 2-1.

Yesterday's game was Taylor's second since she re-injured a herniated disk in her neck two weeks ago. Taylor felt better after watching her Cavaliers contradict their familiar pattern.

"Usually, this team struggles in the later innings," she said.

Befuddled for six innings by the power pitching of Cubs senior Kelley Tiesi, Spalding finally got the lift it needed when Sheridan walked up to the plate to start the final inning.

After watching a first-pitch changeup go by for a strike, Sheridan -- who touched Tiesi for a triple in the fourth -- jumped on another changeup and blasted a shot into deep right field.

After Sheridan rounded the bases to tie the score at one, Lounge drilled a 2-2 pitch in nearly the same place.

Despite slipping after rounding first base, Lounge had enough time to get up and score before the relay throw reached home plate.

Catholic (6-7 overall, 6-3 IAAM) had taken a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning. Senior Laura Dantoni drew a one-out walk, and a passed ball and a fielder's choice advanced her to third base.

Dantoni was then caught in a rundown between third and home, but Spalding senior third baseman Meg Cowen's throw to senior pitcher Jessica Saunders at home hit Dantoni in the back and allowed her to score.

Nonetheless, Saunders improved to 6-1 after giving up just one infield single and striking out nine.

Tiesi dropped to 6-7 despite striking out 12 Cavaliers, including six in a row.

"They've got good players, and good players make great plays," said Catholic coach Len Tiesi, Kelley's father, of Spalding. "They put the ball in play, and we got unlucky."

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