Vikings defeat Mardela
CAMBRIDGE — In a game with no earned runs scored, Cambridge-South Dorchester High’s softball team benefitted the most from mistakes on Friday, April 6.
The Vikings scored four times in the bottom of the third to erase a 1-0 deficit, and added a two-run cushion in the fifth for a 6-1 win that pushed their record to 6-1.
Mardela (4-2) played four games during the week, opening with a win over St. Michaels, then a loss to Delmar, Del., and a 10-0 rout of Washington.
Mardela scored the game’s first run in the top of the second inning. With two down, Megan Caputo walked, stole second and scored on backto-back passed balls. Sam Lanham, who reached on a dropped third strike after Caputo’s walk, made it to third on the last passed ball, but was stuck there when Cambridge-SD freshman Maddie Pleasants (6-1) struck out the next batter.
Due to the dropped third strike, Pleasants had more Ks — seven — than there were outs through two innings.
“When we were down 1-0, I told the girls it was early — what was it, second inning?” Viking head coach Kareem Otey said. “We knew that Mardela was gonna be extremely tough. We knew that when we got on base that we were gonna have to be smart, and I think our base running was a huge part of winning today.
“It was all about putting the ball in play ... and that’s what we’ve been telling them,” Otey added. “Put the ball in play, and stuff happens.”
After stranding two in the first and going down 1-2-3 in the second, the Vikings took their coach’s advice in the bottom of the third.
Delanie Henry earned a one-out walk and moved to second on Abby Robinson’s sacrifice bunt. Maddison Lednum looped a base hit to the right side which Mardela second baseman Lanham nearly turned into an amazing over-the-shoulder catch, the ball just falling out of her glove. But then the ball got thrown away at the plate, the error scoring Henry and putting Lednum on third.
Pleasants, who’s already hit five home runs this season, was walked intentionally, bringing up Brooke Windsor, whose hard grounder to short resulted in Mardela’s second error of the inning. Lednum scored on the play, to make it 2-1, Vikings. Pleasants, who had stolen second during Windsor’s at-bat, made it to third. Chloe Warrell’s two-run single up the middle capped the rally.
“She came through in just the right time,” Otey said of Warrell.
“I think in that inning they had ... four runs on one hit,” Mardela head coach Kory Shiles said. “That’s just not good . ... Too many errors, same story against Delmar when we lost.
“We’ve got to make a decision as to what kind of team we want to be,” Shiles said. “Do we want to be the kind of team that underperforms and makes mistakes, or a team that plays up to its ability? We’ve got to decide that.”
Pleasants, who had 10 strikeouts through four innings, was touched for a pair of hits in the fifth and sixth. But nothing came of either, Pleasants getting out of both two-out rallies, first with a pop-out to second, and then with her 12th and final strikeout to end the sixth.
“She’s consistent,” Otey said of Pleasants, who along with Colonel Richardson’s Jen Larrimore shares the North Bayside lead for victories at six. “She gives it her all every time she steps on the mound. “She’s definitely a true competitor. She’s going to give you 100 percent.”
The team’s hitting was also key, Otey said.
“All through the lineup different girls have contributed at different times,” Otey said. “On any given day, it’s going to be anybody’s turn to have that shot.”
They proved her right with two more in the bottom of the fifth. Robinson reached on a dropped third strike, and scored two outs later on Windsor’s double.
Windsor made third on a passed ball and scored the game’s final run when Warrell’s grounder to third was mishandled.
Cambridge-SD freshman Madison Pleasants unleashes a riseball during the second inning of Friday’s game against Mardela. Pleasants struck out five of the first six Mardela hitters she faced, eventually finishing with 12 Ks in a 6-1 win.