La Plata softball loses game in 7th
Calvert softball scores six runs in final inning to beat Warriors
Down five runs to the visiting La Plata Warriors going to the bottom of the seventh, there was no reason to believe Calvert’s softball team was going to leave its field with anything other than its second loss of the season on Thursday afternoon.
But in the mind of firstyear Calvert head coach Lauren Robison, the Cavaliers were just a “crack of the bat away.”
It took more than one crack, but Calvert did rally back from the seemingly insurmountable deficit. The Cavaliers scored six runs — all of which crossed the plate with two outs — to snag an 8-7 win in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference crossover encounter.
Robison played on a pair of state champion teams at Calvert in 2005 and 2006, but the Cavaliers program has not competed on that level in the years since. Friday’s result was just one small step towards the team hopefully thrusting itself back into a more prominent position in the conference.
“It’s unbelievable,” Robison said. “What we’re trying to do here is build a new program and come back and get something started. A lot of things I’ve been hearing from people is this team is starting to believe in themselves. We believe in them, and I think today they started believing in themselves a little bit. They’re buying into it. Never once did they count themselves out. I kept telling them, ‘We’re a crack of the bat away.’ We had several cracks of the bat there in the last inning and they just put it together. It was awesome.”
La Plata (1-5 overall after a 17-0, five-inning win over Thomas Stone on Monday), last year’s Class 2A state champions, banged out 17 hits to more than double Calvert’s total. The Warriors did not go down in order a single inning, but left 12 runners on base. Still, when they scored five runs in the top of the sixth to blow open a 2-2 game, it appeared the visitors had their first win of the season in hand.
Calvert (4-2 after a 12-4 loss to Chopticon on Monday) was unable to trim the deficit in the bottom of the sixth, and a pop-up to open the bottom of the seventh had the Cavaliers down to their final two outs. Taylor Bowen then slammed a double to left field and Amanda Curran followed with a walk.
A grounder to the pitcher moved the runners to second and third, but also provided the Warriors with the inning’s second out. Bowen scored on a pitch that found its way to the backstop before Carleigh Bartholomew came through with an RBI single, chasing home another run to cut the gap to three. A La Plata error on the next at-bat left some hope for the Cavaliers and Gabrielle Toney, who had hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, delivered an RBI single to slice the lead to 7-5.
Alexis Commodore’s RBI hit the following atbat drove home another run and left runners on second and third. With the winning run standing on second base, Skylar Clark stepped into the batter’s box and drilled a pitch to the fence in right-center to plate the game’s final two runs and lift the Cavaliers to an unlikely win.
“I was just looking for the perfect hit, just the right pitch to hit. It was the pitch I always hit. I liked it and I wanted it,” Clark said. “Anything’s possible. We were all just getting loud in the dugout, pumping each other up, passing down the bat.”
It was a tough loss for the Warriors. While the program earned its first state championship last spring, this year’s team is largely a new group, without a single senior.
“They’re a good program, too, and they didn’t give up,” La Plata head coach Dave Krahling said. “That’s what you have to do, you have to play seven innings.”
La Plata hit well throughout, but left a lot of runs on the base paths. It’s all a part of the learning process, according to Krahling.
“They hit the ball,” Krahling said of his squad, which is scheduled to have home matchup with Lackey at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. “They’re getting better, building the confidence up. They’re still a young squad.
“We’re going to keep fighting. They’re young and we’re going to get through this. It’s a building year. We’ll get through it. They’re working hard. We left a lot of runners on base. They got complacent, but overall it was a good game. We’re going to keep working.”
Similar to La Plata, it’s a new year at Calvert, as well. With four wins through five games, Robison hopes her team’s confidence and hunger continue to grow. The Cavaliers are scheduled to host Huntingtown at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in what would figure to be a pair of challenging games to start this week.
“I tell my girls each year is a new year,” she said, “We’ve crumbled up last year and thrown it away. All of the other teams are brand new to us, we have a brand new slate.
“We try not to go off the hype of what anyone says. You look at the snapshot of all the scores and it’s anybody’s game. As far as confidence, we’re going to take this and run with it and we’re not going to look back.”
La Plata’s Jasmine Wathen prepares to throw to Ava Krahling at first after fielding a bunt in the first inning of the Warriors’ game at Calvert on Thursday afternoon. Calvert rallied for six runs in the bottom of the seventh to defeat the Warriors 8-7.