North Point soft­ball ral­lies to beat St. Charles

N. Point soft­ball scores five in fifth to beat St. Charles; Baker fans 12

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com

En­ter­ing the bot­tom half of the fifth in­ning, the North Point soft­ball team trailed by one run and needed a spark in Wed­nes­day’s South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Po­tomac Divi­sion con­test with vis­it­ing St. Charles.

And it came at the right time.

With one out and the bases loaded, sopho­more third base­man Sanaya Clark ripped a sin­gle to left field to drive in Madi­son Pow­ell with the ty­ing run.

The ball trick­led past St. Charles left fielder Car­men Mar­shall who mis­judged it and three more runs came to home plate, in­clud­ing Clark, to give North Point a 6-2 lead and it held on to win, 6-3.

“Ba­si­cally I wanted to keep my head down and hit the ball in the gap be­cause the left fielder wasn’t in the zone,” Clark said. “I thought that was I was just go­ing to get to third base not get all the way home, so it was def­i­nitely a game-chang­ing play for us.”

After North Point’s Ave Tavares struck out, Pow­ell started the rally by reach­ing first base on an er­ror. Katie Delph then walked and Gabby Cross de­liv­ered a bunt sin­gle to load the bases to set up the big play in a fifth in­ning that saw five to­tal runs score.

“It was a very sloppy game on our part. We were very for­tu­nate to have a cou­ple er­rors go our way,” North Point head coach Tony Jones said. “St. Charles was un­de­feated in the county and we knew that. It was a very good win for us. We are not where we should be right now at this point in the sea­son. We need to clean some things up. Not the pret­ti­est of games, but we got key outs when we needed to.”

North Point (5-3, 3-1 Po­tomac) handed St. Charles its first loss in the divi­sion on the sea­son. The Spar­tans (4-5, 3-1) un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally had five er­rors in the game, in­clud­ing the one in the

fifth that was cru­cial and made a dif­fer­ence in the out­come.

“We over­played balls in the out­field and we have some in­ex­pe­ri­ence play­ers that are just learn­ing the game,” St. Charles head coach Chip Sa­luter said. “When you make those mis­takes against a good team like North Point it can turn out the way it did. We take away one or two er­rors we take this one home, but we came up short.”

After giv­ing up back-to-back hits and two runs to start the game, North Point se­nior pitcher Bri­anna Baker set­tled in as she went on to strike­out 12 bat­ters and did not walk any bat­ters in a com­plete-game ef­fort. She al­lowed just four hits and struck out the side in the third and the fifth.

Baker also had a sin­gle in the bot­tom of the fifth fol­low­ing Clark’s piv­otal at-bat.

“I re­ally wasn’t wor­ried. I had faith that my team would come back and get those runs that we needed to,” said Baker, whose younger sis­ter Jae­lyn is a ju­nior catcher. “It was a huge win be­cause St. Charles was un­de­feated in the divi­sion. I have to give it to Sanaya. She smoked that ball and it got past the left fielder. That rally got it started for us.”

St. Charles’ Nyla Jones led off the top of the first with a sin­gle and then Ryanne Sa­luter tripled to right to bring home Jones for the first run of the game. Sa­luter then scored on a sac­ri­fice fly by Alexis Clark to push the Spar­tans’ lead to 2-0.

Sa­luter, who was 2 for 3 on the day, had an in­side-the-park home run with one out in the sixth for the Spar­tans’ third run of the game.

Clark also notched a triple in the game.

St. Charles pitcher Kas­san­dra Clark pitched all six in­nings and struck out seven bat­ters. She also walked three bat­ters and had a hit-by-pitch.

North Point is sched­uled to take on host Thomas Stone in a divi­sion game at 4:30 p.m. Tues­day and West­lake on the fol­low­ing day at the same time.

St. Charles is sched­uled to visit La Plata at 4:30 p.m. Wed­nes­day.

North Point se­nior pitcher Bri­anna Baker threw a com­plete game with 12 strike­outs in a 6-3 win over the vis­it­ing St. Charles Spar­tans in a SMAC Po­tomac Divi­sion soft­ball game on Wed­nes­day. STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MA­SON

STAFF PHOTO BY AJ MA­SON

St. Charles cen­ter fielder Nyla Jones led off Wed­nes­day’s SMAC Po­tomac Divi­sion soft­ball con­test at North Point with a in­field sin­gle. North Point went on to win the game 6-3.

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