Defense Wins

Varsity Softball

Error-free Fielding Decides Pitchers' Duel, Lifts Bruins To 12-0

April 28, 2009|By Todd Karpovich | Todd Karpovich,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Top-ranked Broadneck's Kourtney Salvarola and fourth-ranked Arundel's Kayla Martinez stifled hitters from the mound in Monday's vital Anne Arundel County matchup, but the Bruins' flawless defense proved to be the difference in the end.

Visiting Broadneck picked up runs in the first and fifth innings and played error-free behind Salvarola to pull out the 2-0 victory.

The Bruins improved to 12-0 and moved closer to wrapping up a top seed for the Class 4A regional playoffs.

"The difference was, they made a couple of mistakes early and gave us some base runners. Defensively, we did not make that mistake," Broadneck coach Reese Kiple said.

"We've played solid defense all year and we stress that. That's a difference it makes when Kourtney is on like she was today. She was fantastic."

As the temperature hovered above 90 degrees, neither pitcher showed any signs of fatigue. Salvarola pitched a complete game, scattering three hits with 10 strikeouts. Martinez was effective, too, with one earned run on six hits and nine strikeouts.

Broadneck opened the scoring when Avery Gabbard reached second base and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Salvarola. After grabbing the early lead, Salvarola did not allow a hit until the third inning and allowed a runner into scoring position only three times.

"I thought I threw well pitching for the first time in this kind of heat," Salvarola said. "I was really working on my changeup because I am really going to need that down the road. That pitch worked really well today."

Broadneck added an insurance run in the fifth inning on a two-out single by Diana Naylor. Arundel (10-2) had base runners in the fifth, sixth and seventh, but Salvarola answered by switching up her pitches to keep the Wildcats off balance. The two teams will meet again Tuesday to make up a game called off because of rain.

"The difference in the game was one error," Arundel coach Ali Grava said. "We left a lot of girls on base, a lot more than they did. That's just what happens. We'll see them again [Tuesday]. It's like a doubleheader with a little breather in the middle."

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