North Point softball topples La Plata
Eagles’ Baker outuels Bilodeau on rainy day
Intermittent showers proved to be a minor irritant on Friday afternoon to opposing pitchers from North Point High School and visiting La Plata, but the Eagles weathered the storm courtesy of a crisper defense anchored by a precocious freshman.
North Point spotted La Plata an early 1-0 lead when Eagles junior Bri Baker yielded an unearned run in the top of the first inning, but the hosts immediately countered with two runs in each of the second and third innings and later added two more unearned runs in the sixth to forge a 6-2 victory over the Warriors in a Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Potomac Division contest.
Baker limited the Warriors to two unearned runs on three hits and one walk while fanning three batters. La Plata’s Hannah Kraft singled and scored on an error in the first and reached on a passed ball and scored on an error in the fourth. But Baker got stellar defensive support from freshman shortstop Katie Delph, who recorded five assists and four putouts.
“She’s a great defensive player,” Baker said of Delph. “She gets to everything. I think it was a total team effort today. I just tried to throw strikes and rely on my defense. We knew Alyssa [Bilodeau] was going to be tough. We cranked up the pitching machine yesterday to get ready for her. It took me three years to catch up to her.”
Delph, who plays alongside many of the La Plata players as a member of the Lady Orioles travel team, proved to be a major thorn in the side of her summertime teammates. In addition to accounting for nearly one-half of the outs on Friday, Delph went 2 for 4 with a triple and drove in a run. Baker was 2 for 2 with a triple and scored twice.
“I’ve been playing with those girls from La Plata for a while now,” Delph said. “They’re all really good. Today I just wanted to make as many plays as I could to help out my pitcher. She threw a really good game. I like batting leadoff. I was a little nervous in the first inning and struck out, but the next two times up I waited for my pitch and made good contact.”
While Delph anchored a solid defense for the Eagles (9-7, 6-2 Potomac after a 4-3 loss to McDonough on Monday), Bilodeau was occasionally felled by control problems and frequently compromised by her fielders. Bilodeau allowed six runs, three earned, on six hits and seven walks while fanning 10 batters. But on at least two occasions the Warriors failed to make routine plays that compounded the La Plata ace’s troubles.
In the bottom of the second, Justice Moore worked Bilodeau for a one-out walk and took second on a passed ball by catcher Devin Ruble, then Jaycee Vermilion beat out an infield single and Moore came around to score on a throwing error by Warriors second baseman Ava Krahling. Delph followed by a single to center that plated Vermilion.
Baker opened the third with a triple and scored on a wild pitch and the Eagles added another run later in the inning after working Bilodeau for a pair of walks and Vermilion plated one of them with a groundout to second. Delph had a one-out triple in the fourth but was stranded there when Bilodeau fanned Sanaya Clark and Lauren Tipton.
As Baker limited the Warriors (8-5, 6-1) to an infield single by Alyssa Gayon in the fifth and a bloop single by Andie Kline in the seventh, she sparked a twoout rally in the sixth. The pitcher reached on an infield single on a grounder that caromed off first base and came around to score when sophomore catcher and younger sister Jaelyn Baker hit a routine fly ball into left field that Ashley Roberts misplayed. Tipton promptly followed with a run-scoring single.
“You have to give North Point credit,” La Plata head coach Dave Krahling said. “They made all the plays and we didn’t. They hit the ball better than we did and they made more plays than we did. That’s the bottom line. They were ready to play today and we were not.”
The Warriors are scheduled to be back in action at 4:30 p.m. today at Thomas Stone, while North Point is slated to host Lackey at 4:30 p.m. today.
La Plata softball players Erica Cox, Devin Ruble and Alyssa Bilodeau and coach Dave Krahling confer on the mound during the third inning of Friday’s game at North Point. The Warriors led 1-0 early, but the Eagles pulled away late for a 6-2 victory in their SMAC Potomac Division game.
North Point junior pitcher Bri Baker fires a pitch home against La Plata on Friday. Baker limited the Warriors to two unearned runs on three hits as the Eagles prevailed 6-2 in SMAC Potomac Division action.