First inning dooms C. Milton Wright in 3A softball title game

Mustangs fall to Northern, 11-0, after Patriots score 10 in the first

May 28, 2010|By Conor O’Neill, The Baltimore Sun

In 25 games this season, the most runs the C. Milton Wright softball team allowed in a game was eight, and the Mustangs won both of those games.

But on Friday night, playing for the Class 3A state championship, the Mustangs were bludgeoned by a 10-run first inning from Northern of Calvert County, eventually taking an 11-0 loss with the game ended in the fifth inning.

Northern captured its third consecutive 3A softball championship, finishing its season with a 23-1 record. The Mustangs' final record is 23-3.

In the bottom half of the first, the Patriots were able to push across six runs before the Mustangs were able to record an out.

Mustangs coach Russ Kovach said he thought nerves may have been a factor to the Patriots' big inning, in which there were multiple defensive blunders by the Mustangs.

"I just think a lot of nerves got to us," Kovach said.

Despite the defensive blunders, the Patriots also hit the ball all around the diamond, racking up four extra-base hits in the first inning alone.

"Whether or not you count them as errors, they were really good shots," Kovach said. "They were hitting [sophomore pitcher Brittany Stein] really well."

After the first-inning blitz from the Patriots, Kovach's squad was able to take a deep breath and hold the offensive juggernaut to one run over the next three innings.

"I love [their effort]," Kovach said. "You've got to feel for them when that happens. They got down, but they kept playing."

The Mustangs set the Patriots down in order in the second and third innings, after Northern had batted through their lineup in the first inning.

"To hold a team like that to one run after [that first inning], I think shows a lot of character," Kovach said.

But the pitching effort from junior Kaitlyn Schmeiser was too much for the Mustangs to overcome, as she allowed just two hits over five innings.

It took C. Milton Wright until the last frame to advance a runner to third base against Schmeiser, who also had a 3-for-3 day at the plate with a double and a triple.

One positive note for the Mustangs is that they will lose just two players to graduation this season.

"The seniors are going to be tough to lose, but the flip side is we've got most of our team coming back," Kovach said.

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