Hurricanes unable to turn early power into big win
C.M. WRIGHT 6, HUNTINGTOWN 1
Huntingtown shook the outfield fence with a trio of extrabase hits during the first trip through its lineup in Saturday’s Maryland 3A softball final. In between, the Hurricanes smacked line drives that somehow found infield gloves and launched pop flies that stubbornly remained inside the University of Maryland Softball Complex.
Huntingtown hoped these early loud outs were a sign of runs to come, but the offense dried up. C.M. Wright did not allow a hit in the final four innings while the Mustangs’ offense put together a pair of two-out rallies for a 6-1 win.
“We just fell apart,” Huntingtown sophomore pitcher Tori Fletcher said. “We made great contact early, but we didn’t keep it going.”
Sophomore first baseman Alexis Mann scored Huntingtown’s only run after hammering a triple off the wall in right field in the second inning. Two batters later, junior Callie Hilgenberg launched a double over the center fielder’s head. The last of Huntingtown’s five hits was a double by senior Kailey Cannon in the third.
“We laid down too early today,” Mann said. “We should have scored some runs, but we just didn’t take advantage of any chance they gave us.”
While Huntingtown (18-4) couldn’t find a hole, C.M. Wright (17-7) won the game with infield hits and bloop singles. With two outs and a runner on second in the fourth, Mann dived for a spinning popup that fell just out of her reach inside the first base line to extend the inning.
In the next at-bat, junior Michelle Cisco hit a two-run double that gave the Bel Air school a 3-1 lead. With two outs in the sixth, a soft flyball fell between Huntingtown’s charging second baseman, shortstop and center fielder. Two batters later, Cisco delivered a three-run home run to seal the victory.
“There were some things we couldn’t control. Those bloopers, there’s nothing we can do about that,” Fletcher said. “There’s times when you know it’s your fault they’re hitting the ball, but I thought I was hitting my spots today. It’s just they had those two-out rallies.”
Fletcher struck out three batters and allowed four of eight hits during the sixth inning. For much of the day, C.M. Wright bracing for fastballs were fooled by crafty change-ups and movement.
Huntingtown beat C.M. Wright in last year’s state semifinal before blowing an early lead in a 10-5 loss to Westminster in the championship.
“Last year we were more down on ourselves. This year there wasn’t as many tears because we know we should have taken advantage of what we had,” Mann said. “But we still have junior and senior year.”
Huntingtown loses three senbatters iors, but the rest of the team heads into the offseason encouraged by consecutive trips to the state final and motivated by their sour endings.
“We’re all excited to come back next year,” Fletcher said.
Huntingtown pitcher Tori Fletcher kept C.M. Wright largely off-balance, but the Mustangs turned a pair of two-out rallies into a 6-1 win over the Hurricanes in the Maryland 3A softball championship.