Lions can’t main­tain strong start

Queen Anne’s pulls ahead 5-0 against Colonels, but then goes quiet in de­feat

Record Observer - - Sports - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

Colonel 8 — Q. Anne’s 5

AMER­I­CAN COR­NER — Colonel Richard­son High’s soft­ball team spent the first half of Thurs­day’s game against Queen Anne’s County putting run­ners in scor­ing po­si­tion, only to leave them stranded with­out cutting into a five-run deficit.

The Colonels kept battling, and by the sixth in­ning, Jazmine Brooks’ tworun dou­ble, fol­lowed by Jayna Turner’s two-run sin­gle pushed Colonel ahead en route to an 8-5 vic­tory.

Turner col­lected three hits and three RBIs for Colonel Richard­son (2-1) who won their sec­ond straight. De­spite fall­ing be­hind 5-0 af­ter two in­nings, pitcher Gabby Galante (1-1) blanked the Lions the rest of the way for a com­plete-game vic­tory.

“We kept fight­ing,” Colonel Richard­son head coach Brett Ire­land said. “We showed a lot of heart even when we didn’t get a hit or two to break through. We put some good swings to­gether at the end.

“Jayna started it off with a big RBI to put us on the board, and then she got the big hit to give us the lead,” Ire­land added. “Jazmine had a big hit with the dou­ble to make it a one-run game. Jen Lar­ri­more had a nice hit in the fifth with two outs to drive in a run. She also had an RBI fielder’s choice in the sixth to give us a cush­ion. You wanted the cush­ion at the end of the game be­cause a one-run lead didn’t feel safe.”

Through four in­nings, ev­ery time the Colonels started a rally, Lions pitcher Leah Bradley (1-1) got key outs, strand­ing nine run­ners.

Bradley looked to strand an­other run­ner in scor­ing po­si­tion in the bot­tom of fifth. But Turner stroked a line drive, scor­ing Galante to make it 5-1. Lar­ri­more added a sec­ond run with a RBI sin­gle to bring Colonel within 5-2.

Galante quickly re­tired Queen Anne’s (1-1, 0-1) in or­der in the top of the sixth.

Madi­son Bee started Colonel’s rally when she was hit by a pitch. Cor­ryn Jo­hansen then reached on an er­ror, putting run­ners at sec­ond and third.

Brooks ripped the next pitch in the left-field gap for

a dou­ble to score Bee and Jo­hansen, shav­ing Queen Anne’s lead to 5-4. Galante’s bunt sin­gled and a walk to Kaylie Moore loaded the bases for Turner.

The se­nior ripped a pitch to right, scor­ing Brooks and Galante for a 6-5 lead. Lar­ri­more added to the in­ning by plat­ing Moore on fielder’s choice, and An­nie Har­ris capped the come­back with an RBI sin­gle.

“We preach pitch se­lec­tion, pitch se­lec­tion, pitch se­lec­tion,” Ire­land said. “If you swing at bad pitches you will make outs, but if you swing at good pitches, most time you can put a good swing on it.”

Queen Anne’s head coach Kim Betts said her team’s mis­takes let Colonel gain mo­men­tum.

“We had the game sealed up, but made three er­rors in a row,” Betts said. “The first three bat­ters that got on base (in the sixth) should have been 1-2-3 and we are out of the in­ning. We should have been go­ing into the top of the sev­enth in a 5-2 ball­game. We let them gain mo­men­tum.”

The Lions started fast with a lead­off sin­gle by Syd­ney Par­sons (2 for 4), who scored on Alyssa Jack­son’s dou­ble. Bradley made it 2-0 when she reached on an er­ror, al­low­ing Jack­son to score.

Queen Anne’s sent eight bat­ters to the plate in the sec­ond in­ning. Par­sons drove in Kelsey Graef with a bases-loaded sin­gle to make it 3-0. Ken­dall Brandt drew a walk to force in the fourth run. Lind­say Ray made it 5-0 when her fielder’s choice scored Al­lie Har­ris.

Af­ter the first two in­nings, Galante al­lowed one hit in her com­plete-game ef­fort. She also flashed the leather, record­ing five as­sists in the cir­cle on come­back­ers.

“The first in­nings, we should have got out with them scor­ing just one run, but we had an er­ror,” Ire­land said. “Then in the sec­ond, Queen Anne’s drew two walks, which helped them add three more runs.

“Af­ter that, Gabby showed her tough­ness, kept in the game and shut­down Queen Anne’s to give us a chance. The de­fense made some bet­ter plays be­hind her.

“Cor­ryn did a great job be­hind the plate,” Ire­land added. “When they had run­ners on, she did a good job of block­ing balls, not al­low­ing run­ners to ad­vance. She has put to­gether three good games be­hind the plate these first three games.”

Colonel Richard­son hosts Kent County at 4 p.m. next Tues­day. Queen Anne’s trav­els to North Caro­line for a 4 p.m. game on April 1. St. Michaels 13, Kent County 0 WOR­TON — McKenna Brown­ing and An­gel­ica Sichette com­bined to throw a four-hit­ter, strik­ing out 12, as the Saints im­proved to 2-0, 1-0.

Nay Nay Flan­nery had two triples, and scored twice for St. Michaels. Ash­ton Lan­ders was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, Melissa Richard­son went 3-for-4, and Sichette and Sam Romberg each had two sin­gles and scored twice.

Caitlin Tay­lor took the loss for the Tro­jans (0-2, 0-1). Fol­low Caro­line/ Dorch­ester Edi­tor Dustin Holt on Twit­ter

@Dustin_S­tarDem.

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