Vikings split with 1A rivals
Vikings use hot start to top Colonels
CAMBRIDGE — The Cambridge-South Dorchester softball earned a 5-1 victory against Colonel Richardson Monday, April 18, then fell to unbeaten St. Michaels 4-1 Tuesday, April 19.
AMERICAN CORNER — A hot start and timely defense propelled Cambridge-South Dorchester’s High softball team to a 5-1 victory over Class 1A rival Colonel Richardson Monday.
The Vikings took 1-0 first-inning lead, and added four runs in the second to complete a regular-season sweep of the Colonels. Cambridge-SD senior pitcher Paige Bleyer went the distance, allowing six hits and striking out six.
Winners of four straight, Cambridge-SD improved to 9-2 overall. Colonel had a five-game winning streak snapped and slipped to 8-4.
“How we came out hitting was the biggest factor in the game,” Cambridge-SD head coach Kareem Otey said. “Any time you get a 5-0 lead gives a team a lot of confidence.
“We were hitting the ball hard, but hitting it in the holes,” Otey added. “The last few games we hit the ball hard but right at someone. The ball had eyes today in our favor.”
All five of the Vikings’ runs came with two outs against Colonel freshman Jennifer Larrimore. In the first inning, Kaylie Seabrease was hit by a pitch. Three batters later, Jamyra Chester drove Seabrease in with a linedrive single to center for a 1-0 lead.
The Vikings took control in the second with four consecutive two-out hits to make it 5-0. Emily Keener singled up the middle to drive in Alyssa Swann (2 for 3). Seabrease’s line drive single scored Keener, and Bleyer’s double scored Seabrease and Karli Lewis (2 for 4).
Though the Vikings led 5-0, the Colonels have made a habit of rallying from big early deficits this season. The first meeting between the teams saw Colonel take a 6-5 extra-innings lead after trailing 5-1. And last
Thursday, Colonel came back from a 5-2 deficit in the top of the seventh inning to beat Easton 6-5.
“We knew were going to be in a battle because Colonel never gives up,” Otey said. “Today, Paige kept Colonel from building any momentum with key strikeouts.”
Though Bleyer allowed only six hits, the Colonels hit the ball hard, but most of their shots went right into gloves.
Trailing 1-0 in the first inning, Jazmine Brooks and Gabby Galante each belted pitches to deep center, but Vikings center fielder Emily Keener chased down both shots for outs.
In the second, Kaylie Moore doubled down the left-field line, but was stranded when Bleyer got an inning-ending strikeout.
“Colonel really hit the ball great today, too, but we were able to make the plays in the field,” Otey said. “When you are hitting and playing a solid defense, it makes a world of difference. Getting on the scoreboard early builds up our confidence on defense so we were ready to make those plays on their hard hits.”
Colonel’s biggest threat came in the fourth when Galante reached on an error and Morgan Willoughby (2 for 3) singled, then moved to second on a throw to third with no outs. Bleyer would not let the Colonels score, though, striking out the next two before inducing Moore to fly out to deep left, where Regan Jones made a running catch near the fence.
“Paige has been doing really, really well at keeping her composure with runners on,” Otey said. “Several innings, they put runners on base, but she got key strikeouts, which prevents them from moving runners up and scoring. She was still working the inside and outside corners and being aggressive.”
Colonel’s Madison Bee (2 for 3) started a rally in the sixth with a single and moved to third on an error. Willoughby singled to center to score Bee and make it 5-1. Jayna Turner followed with a single, but both were stranded when Bleyer got another strikeout and induced a popout to end the inning.
“The ball had eyes on it today and it wasn’t a good set for us,” Colonel head coach Brett Ireland said. “Everything we hit was to people, and everything they hit in the second inning found a hole.
“Cambridge hit the ball really hard, give them a lot of credit, because they made those holes with how hard they hit today,” he added. “Cambridge got everything with two outs. We have to find a way to get that third out. Give them credit because they kept battling to get those twoout runs.”
Larrimore went the distance, giving up eight hits and striking out six.
“I thought Jen pitched really well,” Ireland said. “She settled down, and kept us right in it. The team kept fighting, putting runners on, but we just couldn’t find a hole on one of our hits to get the rally going.
“We just want to come out tomorrow, making solid contact like today, and hopefully we’ll find those holes,” he added. “We got to do a little better job hitting with runners on base to put pressure on the defense.”
Cambridge-SD’s Alyssa Swann belts a pitch down the right-field line for a triple against Colonel Richardson Monday, April 18.
Cambridge-South Dorchester’s Kaylie Seabrease rips an RBI single to center against Colonel Richardson Monday, April 18.
Cambridge-SD’s Emily Keener chases down a deep drive to center field for an out against Colonel Richardson Monday.
Cambridge-South Dorchester’s Jamyra Chester rips an RBI single to center against Colonel Richardson Monday, April 18.