Cougars-Rams softball contest suspended
Stone led 2-1 in third inning when game halted for weather
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.
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.