Cougars-Rams soft­ball con­test sus­pended

Stone led 2-1 in third in­ning when game halted for weather

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

With her team lead­ing host McDonough High School 2-1 head­ing to the bot­tom of the third in­ning of their South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Po­tomac Di­vi­sion clash on Fri­day af­ter­noon, Thomas Stone High School sopho­more pitcher An­gela Rogers me­an­dered to the cir­cle know­ing the end was near.

Stone had scored two runs in the top of the third in­ning when McDonough fresh­man pitcher Ha­ley Arnold, sum­moned into ac­tion while se­nior hurler Sarah Chen was on a se­nior trip to Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios in Florida, was called for con­sec­u­tive il­le­gal pitches with the bases loaded, al­low­ing two Cougars runs to score amid a light rain.

When Rogers went to the cir­cle for the top of the third in­ning, the rains be­gan to in­ten­sify and af­ter throw­ing one pitch into the dirt, the umpires halted the con­test amid the in­ten­si­fy­ing rains and rum­bles of thun­der in the dis­tance. When the sun emerged from the clouds, how­ever, the umpires deemed the

damp­ened, slick ter­rain un­playable and the game is sched­uled to re­sume at 4:30 p.m. May 8 from that point.

“When I threw that last pitch the ball felt like a piece of glass,” Rogers said. “I couldn’t grip the ball at all. I was hop­ing that we would be able to fin­ish. We were play­ing re­ally well to­day. We’ve only won a cou­ple of games thus far, but we’ve got a young team and I think we’re get­ting bet­ter.”

McDonough had ac­tu­ally staked Arnold to a 1-0 lead in the bot­tom of the first. Stephanie Adams reached on a bunt sin­gle, stole sec­ond and even­tu­ally scored on a two-out sin­gle by se­nior catcher El­iza Shontz. Rogers fanned two Cougars in the bot­tom of the sec­ond then watched her of­fense claim the lead in the top of the third as the rains ar­rived.

“I thought she was re­ally get­ting the hang of it,” Shontz said of her youth­ful bat­tery mate. “She got called for a cou­ple of il­le­gal pitches, but she’s still learn­ing. Stephanie did her part in the first in­ning by get­ting on with that bunt sin­gle and I was just look­ing for a way to get her home. We were hop­ing to fin­ish to­day, but maybe we’ll see them in a cou­ple of weeks back here.”

McDonough had won the pre­vi­ous meet­ing be­tween the two teams, 10-0 on March 29, and its early ad­van­tage might have sig­naled the be­gin­ning of an­other on­slaught in pre­vi­ous weeks. But Stone head coach Dave Reilly has seen a steady im­prove­ment in Rogers and catcher Pay­ton Gowin and the en­tire in­field over the last month.

“We’re re­ally play­ing much bet­ter now than ear­lier this sea­son,” Reilly said. “An­gela and Pay­ton are work­ing well to­gether and our in­field is solid. We were mak­ing the plays to­day. It was a shame we couldn’t fin­ish be­cause these girls have im­proved so much since the first time we played them.”

McDonough reached the Class 1A North Re­gion fi­nals last spring where it fell to even­tual state cham­pion Per­ryville of Ce­cil County. Shontz and Rams head coach Julie Snavely are ea­ger to see how far this squad can ad­vance dur­ing the post­sea­son.

“We were 7-4 com­ing in here to­day and we have been play­ing bet­ter,” Snavely said. “We didn’t have our se­nior pitcher to­day, but we’ll have her back next week. I think we have a very good chance to get back to the re­gion fi­nal again. That’s our goal right now.”

McDonough (7-4, 5-1 SMAC Po­tomac) is sched­uled to host St. Charles at 4:30 p.m. to­day, while Stone (2-8, 1-4) is set to be at La Plata, also at 4:30 p.m. to­day.

STAFF PHOTO BY TED BLACK

Thomas Stone High School sopho­more hurler An­gela Rogers fires a pitch home in the bot­tom of the sec­ond in­ning at McDonough on Fri­day af­ter­noon. Rogers and her team­mates led 2-1 head­ing to the bot­tom of the third in­ning when rains halted the game and even­tu­ally sus­pended it un­til May 8.

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