Seton Keough has the luxury of being able to march out two pitchers in Robi Zimmerman and Hannah Tavik who routinely dominate the opposition.
In Friday's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland showdown with third-ranked Mercy, it was Tavik's turn to take the ball, and she responded with another stellar outing in the second-ranked Gators' 3-0 victory. Tavik allowed just two hits over seven innings with seven strikeouts and no walks, giving visiting Seton Keough sole possession of first place in the IAAM A Conference midway through the season with a 4-0 record (7-1 overall).
"The whole game, I was just trying to stay on top of the hitters," Tavik said. "I never underestimate the hitters. You always have to bring your 'A' game."
Zimmerman knocked in two runs and Allison Clampitt had three hits for the Gators. Kirsten Barstad was solid for Mercy (4-1, 3-1 IAAM A Conference), allowing just two earned runs with four strikeouts and one walk.
The game was scoreless through four innings as both teams played flawless defense. Mercy right fielder Grace Humphries made a running catch to rob Tavik of extra bases in the fourth.
Seton Keough finally broke through in the fifth when Bridget O'Malley scored from third on a groundout by Zimmerman. The Gators added two more runs an inning later on another groundout by Zimmerman and an an error.
"The effort was there. We're still not hitting, but the effort was there," Seton Keough coach Chuck Snee said. "They did everything we asked them to do. We were putting the ball in play, but they were making plays. They're a good team."
Mercy suffered its first loss after opening the season with four consecutive victories. The Magic are technically sound with their gloves and bats, and coach Kevin Medicus likes the way his team is built for a strong playoff run.
"That's a real good team," Medicus said about Seton Keough. "They've been good for a lot of years, and we're striving to get to that point. We are just now making that step to get to that elite level."
S 000 001 2 — 3 9 0
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Tavik and Roszel; Barstad and Smith.