North Point soft­ball top­ples La Plata

Ea­gles’ Baker out­uels Bilodeau on rainy day

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

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.

STAFF PHOTOS BY TED BLACK

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.

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