Ryken soft­ball needs just one run to beat O’Connell

Preb­ble’s sixth-in­ning homer, Augh­in­baugh’s 11 Ks gives Ryken win over O’Connell

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

In its fi­nal game of the Wash­ing­ton Catholic Ath­letic Con­fer­ence sched­ule, the reign­ing WCAC cham­pion St. Mary’s Ryken High School soft­ball team made the most of its lone run of the day while edg­ing vis­it­ing Bishop O’Connell (Va.) 1-0 on Mon­day after­noon.

Ryken (19-1, 15-1 WCAC) got a solo home run from ju­nior first base­man Katie Preb­ble with two outs in the bot­tom of the sixth in­ning, then se­nior ace Madi­son Augh­in­baugh es­caped a bases loaded jam un­scathed to pre­serve the nar­row vic­tory. O’Connell hurler Kathryn San­der­cock suf­fered her third set­back in a 1-0 game this spring.

As ex­pected when these two teams clash, base run­ners were at a pre­mium through­out the after­noon and when Ryken right fielder Jae­lyn Gorham had a one-out sin­gle in the sixth then was caught at­tempt­ing to steal sec­ond base with Preb­ble at the plate, O’Connell (17-5, 13-3) ap­peared to have dodged a bul­let. But Preb­ble sent a 1-ball, 1-strike changeup from San­der­cock over the fence in left-cen­ter field for a solo homer that ig­nited an im­me­di­ate cel­e­bra­tion.

“I try not to go­ing up there look­ing for a cer­tain pitch,” Preb­ble said. “I was just wait­ing for a pitch that I could hit. I knew when I hit it that it was go­ing out. Madi­son pitched a great game, which she al­ways does. Now we have to go out and get an­other WCAC ti­tle. I’m con­fi­dent that we can do it again.”

Af­ter Preb­ble’s blast gave the hosts a 1-0 lead, Augh­in­baugh headed to the mound in an ideal sit­u­a­tion to pre­serve it. The vis­i­tors were due to send up the bot­tom of their lineup and the se­nior ace had lim­ited O’Connell to two hits and three walks over the pre­vi­ous six in­nings. Left fielder Patty Oha­nian had walked in each of her three ap­pear­ances.

Augh­in­baugh fanned Kayla Turner look­ing, then El­iz­a­beth Hoey­mans sin­gled to left. Augh­in­baugh re­tired Jenna Spille on a grounder to first, but Ju­lia Jones, O’Connell’s No. 9 bat­ter, kept the vis­i­tors hopes alive with a sin­gle to right, al­low­ing Hoey­mans to take third. Cait­lyn Jo­rae then worked Augh­in­baugh for a walk to load the bases.

O’Connell sent third base­man Leah Hammes to the plate with a chance to tie the game or give the vis­i­tors the lead. Augh­in­baugh had re­tired Hammes in each of her three pre­vi­ous at-bats and the Ryken se­nior ace fanned Hammes for the sec­ond time on a 2-2 pitch to end the game.

“I thought my rise­ball and my curve­ball were work­ing re­ally well to­day,” said Augh­in­baugh, who fanned 11 bat­ters and walked four while throw­ing strikes on 75 of 123 pitches dur­ing her four-hit shutout. “They had all of their hits on my drop curve. When Katie stepped up the plate in the sixth I called it. I told the other girls on the bench she was go­ing to take her deep.”

O’Connell had at least one base run­ner in five of the first six in­nings, but only once had a se­ri­ous scor­ing threat. Spille led off the sec­ond with a sin­gle to left and Jones sac bunted her over to sec­ond, but Augh­in­baugh struck out Jo­rae look­ing and then fanned Hammes swing­ing on a 2-2 pitch. Over the first six in­nings, none of the other O’Connell bat­ters who reached ad­vanced.

Through the first five in­nings, Ryken had two scor­ing chances against San­der­cock. Gorham had a one-out sin­gle in the first and stole sec­ond, went to third when Preb­ble grounded out then was stranded there when Emma Thomp­son fanned. Mo­riah Hunter had a one­out sin­gle in the third, went to sec­ond on a ground­out but was stranded there.

“Kathryn has pitched re­ally well for us this year,” said O’Connell 31st-year head coach Tommy Orn­dorff. “Un­for­tu­nately, three of her best games we lost 1-0. They weren’t her fault. We just didn’t score any runs for her. But these are the type of games that you ex­pect when you play Ryken. Now we’ll have to get ready to maybe see them again in the play­offs.”

STAFF PHOTO BY TED BLACK

St. Mary’s Ryken se­nior pitcher Madi­son Augh­in­baugh fires home against O’Connell in the top of the first in­ning on Mon­day. Augh­in­baugh blanked O’Connell on four hits and four walks while fan­ning 11 bat­ters as Ryken pre­vailed 1-0 on Katie Preb­ble’s solo home run in the sixth.

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