Vik­ings split with 1A ri­vals

Vik­ings use hot start to top Colonels

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­

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.

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