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