La Plata soft­ball clips St. Charles

Krahling strikes out 11 in re­turn for War­riors

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

Wed­nes­day’s South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Po­tomac Di­vi­sion soft­ball con­test ver­sus St. Charles was the first game back on the rub­ber for La Plata’s Ava Krahling as she was re­cov­er­ing from a back in­jury.

The sopho­more pitcher looked as if she never left, go­ing the dis­tance while strik­ing out 11 with no walks in lead­ing the de­fend­ing Class 2A state cham­pion War­riors to a 3-1 win over the Spar­tans at White Plains Re­gional Park.

Krahling al­lowed just one run, that com­ing in the fourth, on just six hits.

“This was my first day back since my back in­jury, so I was ner­vous com­ing in,” Krahling said. “Af­ter the first in­ning I felt some re­lief and I like my de­fense was be­hind me. I just wanted to throw strikes and keep their hit­ters off bal­ance. We just wanted to fo­cus on work­ing the cor­ners and put some move­ment on the pitches. If we keep work­ing hard, I think we can make an­other deep run. We have a young team, but I like our chances.”

La Plata (4-6, 4-2 SMAC Po­tomac) de­liv­ered some early of­fense in the bottom of the first in­ning.

Sopho­more Han­nah Kraft reached first on an er­ror by the third base­man and advanced to sec­ond on a passed ball. Fresh­man Sierra Sanderson, who fin­ished 3 for 3 at the plate to lead La Plata, then col­lected a bunt sin­gle.

With run­ners on sec­ond and third and still no outs, Sid­ney Bales crushed a two-run dou­ble to right field, bring­ing

Kraft and Sanderson to home plate to give La Plata the 2-0 lead.

In the top of the fourth, Alexis Clark of St. Charles hit a lead­off triple to right. With one out, Kas­san­dra Clark hit an RBI sin­gle, putting the Spar­tans on the board for what would be their only run of the game.

Tay­lor Phillips then sin­gled on the next-at bat and Tyler Ban­ner­man reached first on a fielder’s choice, but Clark was was thrown out try­ing to ad­vance to third.

Krahling then struck out Car­men Mar­shall to end the in­ning.

La Plata ex­tended its lead back to two runs in the fifth. Sanderson sin­gled with one out, then, two bat­ters later, J.C. Chamberlain drove her in on an RBI sin­gle to cap off the game’s scor­ing.

“St. Charles is one of the top teams in our di­vi­sion and have a very good ball­club,” La Plata head coach Dave Krahling said. “For us to come out and win it I think it built up Ava’s con­fi­dence a lot more with Kelsey [Hanks] be­hind the plate. She was hes­i­tant to come back and I told my pitch­ing coach she felt good and we went with her. It’s been a up and down sea­son for us we just have to stay healthy and pre­pare for the [2A South Re­gion] play­offs.”

St. Charles (4-6, 3-2), which left six run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion, got two hits each from Janae Lyles and Kas­san­dra Clark, who was also the team’s start­ing pitcher on the day. Clark struck out six while al­low­ing three runs on six hits with four walks.

“We have to start mak­ing hits when we need them,” St. Charles head coach Chip Sa­luter said. “We are very in­con­sis­tent on our hit­ting right now. The girls have to learn to re­lax when they get in that box. We made some great de­fen­sive plays, but it is hard to win with just one run.”

La Plata is sched­uled to host North Point at 4:30 p.m. Fri­day. St. Charles is off un­til Mon­day when it is sched­uled to host Lackey at 4:30 p.m.

PHOTO BY ROB WORMAN

La Plata sopho­more Ava Krahling tossed a com­plete-game six-hit­ter while strik­ing out 11 in her re­turns from a back in­jury, re­sult­ing in a 3-1 vic­tory over the St. Charles Spar­tans at White Plains Re­gional Park on Wed­nes­day. Krahling did not walk any bat­ters.

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