La Plata softball loses game in 7th

Calvert softball scores six runs in fi­nal in­ning to beat War­riors

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­news.com

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.”

STAFF PHOTO BY ANDY STATES

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.

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