Spring has sprung at Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land

Soft­ball flirt­ing with win­ning sea­son; women’s lax at .500; golf wins first match

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @tblack­somds1

Through the first month of the spring sports sea­son, the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land soft­ball team has as­cended to the head of the class among the school’s quin­tet of squads cur­rently com­pet­ing and the Hawks even had a brief taste of per­fec­tion.

Dur­ing a three-game stint just prior to the team’s eight-game stretch in Myr­tle Beach, S.C., CSM fresh­man hurler Lori Sturgill, a McDonough High School grad­u­ate from Wal­dorf, tossed three straight shutouts, al­low­ing a grand sum of two hits in those out­ings. Against Har­ford Com­mu­nity Col­lege on March 16, in the first game of a dou­ble­header, Sturgill tossed a five-in­ning per­fect game as the Hawks cruised to a 12-0 vic­tory.

Typ­i­cally, per­fect games are a gen­uine cause for cel­e­bra­tion, with the rar­ity of the oc­ca­sion of­ten prompt­ing an en­thu­si­as­tic team hud­dle in the cir­cle. But af­ter the Hawks recorded the fi­nal out of that game and pre­pared for the sec­ond half of their twin bill at Har­ford, it fi­nally dawned on the play­ers and coaches when they gath­ered in right field for their nor­mal postgame rit­ual.

“I wasn’t even think­ing about it,” said Sturgill, who had fanned 12 bat­ters in a one-hit shutout against Al­le­gany on March 12 and then struck out seven more in another one-hit­ter against Anne Arun­del on March 18. “We re­ally didn’t re­al­ize it un­til we got to the team hud­dle in right field. I had thrown one at McDonough, but we never re­ally though about it dur­ing the game.”

CSM sopho­more catcher Diana Cruz, a Great Mills High School grad­u­ate from Lex­ing­ton Park, has been im­pressed with Sturgill since the start of prac­tices and en­joys work­ing with the team’s ace and the in­field­ers.

“We have good chem­istry,” Cruz said. “She’s a very good pitcher and we work well to­gether. We go over things be­fore the game and then be­tween in­nings. She’s got three pitches that she can throw for strikes ev­ery game. She has been re­ally good right from the start. Our in­field­ers all work well to­gether. We’ve been get­ting bet­ter on pick-offs.”

CSM fresh­man short­stop Corinne Fer­nald, a Chop­ti­con High School grad­u­ate from Me­chan­icsville, has quickly adapted to her new­found role in the in­field and has en­joyed work­ing with the Hawks bat­tery. Fer­nald and Cruz have not had too many op­por­tuni- ties to nail po­ten­tial op­pos­ing base run­ners seek­ing to steal sec­ond base, es­pe­cially with a st­ingy Sturgill on the rub­ber.

“She’s re­ally good,” Fer­nald said of Sturgill. “She goes out there and gets ahead of the hit­ters and then back her up. Diana is very good be­hind the plate. She does a good job set­ting up back there and she’s good at pick-offs. We have not had too many chances to get peo­ple out on steals, but she’s good at get­ting the throw-downs to me.”

While the CSM soft­ball team (1314 over­all, 6-5 in the Mary­land Ju­nior Col­lege Ath­letic Con­fer­ence af­ter be­ing swept by CCBC-Ca­tonsville in a home dou­ble­header Wed­nes­day) has been flirt­ing with .500 much of the sea­son and ap­pears ca­pa­ble of at­tain­ing a win­ning record this spring and per­haps go­ing deep into the Re­gion XX playoffs, the Hawks base­ball team (4-17, 1-10) has strug­gled to re­gain its win­ning ways. Last year CSM fin­ished 6-29 over­all and this year’s squad could be headed for a sim­i­lar fate.

Last week­end, the Hawks ended a pro­longed drought when they ral­lied for three runs in the top of the sev­enth in­ning to edge Prince Ge­orge’s Com­mu­nity Col­lege, 4-3, in the first game of their twin bill.

Jor­dan Stramer al­lowed three un­earned runs in six in­nings and col­lected the win when the Hawks scored three times in the top of the sev­enth and Ricky Or­tiz gar­nered the save af­ter yield­ing two hits in a score­less bot­tom of the sev­enth.

The Hawks are back in ac­tion to­day at CCBC-Ca­tonsville and on Sun­day at Gar­rett. The soft­ball team is next in ac­tion with a home dou­ble­header ver­sus Po­tomac State (W.Va.) at 1 p.m. Satur­day.

The CSM women’s lacrosse team (3-3, 1-3) got the .500 mark on Tues­day with an 11-10 vic­tory over CCBC-Es­sex. Only in its sec­ond year of ex­is­tence, the women have al­ready won three more games than they did in their in­au­gu­ral sea­son of 2015. The Hawks edged Po­tomac State, 13-12, in the sea­son opener then forged a 16-7 vic­tory over Fred­er­ick on March 21 be­fore Tues­day’s win. CSM was sched­uled to play at Fred­er­ick on Thurs­day and next is at Har­ford on Tues­day.

“The sea­son is off to a suc­cess­ful start,” Hawks head women’s lacrosse coach Joyce Arter said. “We are cur­rently 3-3 and although we are down two play­ers be­cause of in­jury, that has not stopped the drive or de­ter­mi­na­tion of the team.”

The CSM men’s lacrosse team (1-6, 0-1) opened the sea­son with five straight set­backs be­fore post­ing a 20-8 vic­tory over Northamp­ton on April 1. The Hawks next host CCBC-Es­sex at noon Satur­day. The golf team is un­der­way with its third match hav­ing been run on Thurs­day.

“The men’s lacrosse team has had a chal­leng­ing start to our sea­son,” CSM head men’s lacrosse coach Justin Ryan said. “We have had sev­eral close games that we lost and we strug­gled as a team to put to­gether four quar­ters of play­ing our best lacrosse.”

The CSM men’s golf team won its first match of the sea­son as Ja­cob Ben­ish, a North­ern High School grad­u­ate from Owings, and Cameron Syd­nor, a Hunt­ing­town High School grad­u­ate from Hunt­ing­town, tied for low medal­ist with rounds of 83.

“The team had a solid start to the new sea­son, win­ning our first match at home,” Hawks head golf coach Robert Early said. “The tal­ented young team is held to­gether by strong lead­er­ship and our sec­ond-year starter and team cap­tain, Troy Smith (a Hunt­ing­town High School grad­u­ate from Hunt­ing­town).”

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF COL­LEGE OF SOUTH­ERN MARY­LAND

CSM fresh­man hurler Lori Sturgill, a McDonough High School grad­u­ate from Wal­dorf, tossed a five-in­ning per­fect game as the Hawks cruised to a 12-0 vic­tory against Har­ford Com­mu­nity Col­lege on March 16 in the first game of a dou­ble­header.

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