War­riors lose pitch­ing duel

L-town’s Brooks drives in win­ning run in sixth to beat La Plata

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By PRINCE J. GRIMES pgrimes@somd­news.com

Leonard­town fresh­man Laila Brooks crossed first base with ela­tion as her sin­gle drove in the only run scored in a home game against La Plata on Mon­day.

In what was oth­er­wise a fan­tas­tic pitch­ing duel, Brooks pro­vided timely of­fense in the bot­tom of the sixth in­ning as the Raiders de­feated La Plata 1-0, sweep­ing the two-game South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence non­di­vi­sion sea­son se­ries. Leonard­town first de­feated La Plata 4-1 on March 23 in a pitch­ing bat­tle that was de­cided with an ex­tra in­ning.

On Mon­day, with the game score­less through 5 1/2 in­nings, Leonard­town found an open­ing when Emily Buf­fin reached base on a lead­off bunt. She ad­vanced to sec­ond on a wild pitch by La Plata’s Alyssa Bilodeau and, two bat­ters later, Brooks drove a ball into left-cen­ter field to bring Buf­fin home.

“The pitcher’s very good, ev­ery time. It’s some­thing about her, she get’s in my head ev­ery time, but today I guess I set­tled down and made the ad­just­ment,” Brooks said. She went 1 for 2 at the plate with a walk. Her RBI came on a 1-ball, 2-strike count. “The pitch be­fore was def­i­nitely a strike, but was called a ball. Next time, in­stead of it go­ing out­side, it curved inside, and I guess I just swung a lit­tle bit early to meet it.”

“That was huge,” Leonard­town head coach Kim Schraeder said of the hit. “She’s been, all sea­son, try­ing to get her hits in and it fi­nally just fell for her today.”

Brooks’ hit was one of just three al­lowed by Bilodeau, who also walked three bat­ters and struck out 15. Her coun­ter­part, Leonard­town’s Kaitlin Beasley-Polko earned the shutout with just two hits al­lowed, two walks, and 16 strike­outs. Beasley-Polko, the 2015 All-SMAC Most Out­stand­ing Player, said games against other great pitch­ers can bring the best out of her.

“It gets me a lit­tle more de­ter­mined to throw harder, move­ment, or what­ever it is I need to do to get the outs, or the ground balls, or the pop­ups,” she said.

The al­most iden­ti­cal pitch­ing num­bers be­tween Beasley-Polko and Bilodeau al­most re­flected on the score­board as well, when La Plata be­gan the fifth in­ning with a bunt sin­gle by Kar­ley Wi­ley. A cou­ple bat­ters later, Han­nah Kraft hit what ap­peared to be an RBI sin­gle, but the um­pire ruled that Kraft il­le­gally stepped on home plate while hit­ting the ball and called her out, La Plata’s fi­nal out of the in­ning.

“She did [step on the plate], and I’m not go­ing to ar­gue that call. She’s a young girl,” La Plata head coach Dave Krahling said. Devin Ru­ble’s fourth-in­ning dou­ble was La Plata’s only other hit, and the game’s only ex­tra-base hit. “We left some run­ners on base, too. Kaitlin does a good job on the mound

and Kim does a very good job with the girls, and they played a very good game. It’s just, we left some runs. We’re not ex­e­cut­ing.”

With the win, Leonard­town im­proved to 6-1 over­all with a sched­uled con­test at Great Mills loom­ing at 4:30 p.m. today, the team’s first Ch­e­sa­peake Divi­sion game of the sea­son.

De­spite how tough La Plata has been to beat this sea­son, its record is now 1-4. The War­riors re­turn home for their first Po­tomac Divi­sion game against North Point at 4:30 p.m. today.


La Plata pitcher Alyssa Bilodeau threw 15 strike­outs in a 1-0 loss at Leonard­town on Mon­day.

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