The C. Milton Wright softball team made comeback wins a habit last year, scoring 12 come-from-behind victories and earning a trip to the Class 3A state title game. The Mustangs didn't have nearly as much need for drama this year, as their improved offense led to a number of easy wins.
But No. 2 C. Milton Wright needed to reach back to the past last week. The Mustangs fell behind early before rallying to rout Bowie in the Class 4A state semifinal on May 23. Two days later, C. Milton Wright scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to stun then-No. 2 Chesapeake of Anne Arundel County, 4-3, in the state title game at College Park.
"That was vintage 2005," C. Milton Wright coach Joe Dunch with a laugh.
C. Milton Wright finished 24-2, including an upset loss to Harford Tech in the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference title game. But the Mustangs bounced back after that setback.
The Mustangs started the state semifinals by making some early mistakes that gave Bowie two runs in the semifinal. C. Milton Wright had one runner get called out for leaving third base too soon after tagging up and another thrown out at home.
But Nikki Hartner hit a three-run homer that sparked a six-run third inning for the Mustangs. All six runs were unearned, and the Bulldogs seemed to go flat after that. The Mustangs scored five in the fifth and went on to win, 13-3.
The win sent C. Milton Wright back to the state final. Last season, the Mustangs lost to Huntingtown, 6-1, in the Class 3A title game.
"We felt that last year we gave it away," Dunch said. "It is truly a relief. I think no one really expected us last year to get that far. The expectations were so high for us this year to do the exact same thing - or more."
Chesapeake took an early 2-0 lead in the 4A final before the Mustangs pushed across two in the bottom of the second to tie it. The Cougars scored a run in the third and took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh.
"I felt a strange sort of calm," Dunch said. "I know in that situation, being down in the last inning, you already have one foot in the grave. But we had the right people coming up."
The Mustangs went on to score two runs in the inning, winning it when Allison Kuchar scored on a fielder's choice.
Boys fall short
The C. Milton Wright baseball team came up a little short in its dramatic late-season run, as No. 1 Arundel handed the No. 10 Mustangs a 5-3 loss in the Class 4A state title game at Ripken Stadium on Friday.
Left-hander Nick Bisesi (9-6) kept the Mustangs (17-9) in the game, but the Wildcats did just enough to earn a record 10th state title.
C. Milton Wright was hurt by three errors and a costly wild pitch. The Mustangs pulled to 3-2 after falling behind 3-0 early, but they never led.
The Mustangs made the final after upsetting unbeaten Eleanor Roosevelt, 3-1, in the state semifinals. Bisesi threw a five-hitter in that game and struck out 10.
Tennis, track update
Jessica Ahn of C. Milton Wright finished third in girls singles in the state tennis tournament last weekend at College Park.
Ahn, last year's All-Metro Player of the Year, took third for the second consecutive year. She lost to Quince Orchard's Alice Chen in the semifinals before beating Lackey's Kelly Lai in straight sets for the consolation title.
Bel Air's John Muth was the only other Harford County player to win a match in the tournament. He beat Pikesville's Paul Petrov in the first round before falling to defending champion Jared Pinsky of Churchill.
In track and field, Adam Sedlak of C. Milton Wright was the only Harford County participant to win an individual title at the state meet last weekend at Morgan State. Sedlak took the Class 4A pole vault with a leap of 12 feet, 6 inches.
Fallston got a second-place finish from Linsey Vollmer in the Class 3A high jump. and the Cougars' Kristin Baxivanos finished fifth in the 100-meter hurdles.