C.M. Wright claims 4A

Two runs in 7th top Chesapeake-AA, 4-3, give Mustangs 3rd title

Softball

May 26, 2006|By GLENN GRAHAM | GLENN GRAHAM,SUN REPORTER

The C. Milton Wright softball team had a chance to win a state title last spring and fell one game short. The No. 4 Mustangs obviously learned from the experience.

With two runs in the bottom of the seventh, C. Milton Wright got past No. 2 Chesapeake of Anne Arundel, 4-3, for the Class 4A state crown at College Park last night.

Sophomore shortstop Allison Kuchar scored the game-winning run on a groundout by senior catcher Katie McCauley to give the Mustangs their third state title.

With one out and the Cougars infield playing in, McCauley hit a short grounder to second baseman Kelly Hickman, whose throw to home plate was just late as Kuchar slid under the tag of catcher Samantha Dulski to send the Mustangs' side in an uproar.

C. Milton Wright completes its season with a 24-2 mark as junior pitcher Chelsea Funk allowed three hits to get the win. The Cougars, who started four freshman, two sophomores and just one senior, ended their fine season with a 23-3 mark.

Kuchar, who had a sharp single up the middle to reach base before scoring the game-winning run, couldn't have asked for a better ending.

"As soon as the ball was hit, I knew I had to go as hard as I could." she said. "It was the best feeling in the world. I never cried before being happy, until now."

Chesapeake took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second when Erika Stasch hit a run-scoring triple and then scored on the play when right fielder Nikki Hartner had trouble getting the ball back in the infield.

The Mustangs responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning as Lisa West hit a two-run single over second base.

After the Cougars scored an unearned run in the third to take a 3-2 lead, the score stayed that way until the Mustangs' final at-bat.

Katie Kolb hit a one-out single over first base before Kuchar followed with her single. The two moved up to second and third on a wild pitch. Kaitlyn Neal then hit a sharp come-backer to Cougar pitcher Lauren Gibson, who threw to third to try to get Kolb leaning. But Gibson's throw got away from third baseman Alexis Matula to bring home Kolb and tie the score at 3. McCauley then followed with the grounder that brought home Kuchar and the title.

"It's just been part of the nature of this team to have a tremendous amount of tenacity in these situations." said Joe Dunch, coach of C. Milton Wright. "I honestly thought that we had a great shot at the very end."

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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