In the 10 combined softball games that Catonsville and Western Tech had played this season, the winning team was in double figures in every one.
The teams met Wednesday afternoon on the Wolverines' home field at Catonsville Middle School and Catonsville continued that trend by pounding out 10 hits in an 11-1 victory.
Comets pitchers Liz Anderson and Callie McCleary ensured that winning margin by keeping the Wolverines' bats dormant by combing on a one-hitter.
Catonsville improved to 3-4 overall with the other wins coming over Loch Raven, 17-14, and Parkville, 15-14.
Western Tech dropped to 1-4, with its only triumph coming in a 19-18 win over Chesapeake on April 3.
Anderson didn’t allow a hit until Hannah Parker’s infield single in the top of the fifth inning that loaded the bases.
McCleary, who started at shortstop, relieved the sophomore lefty and retired the final three hitters without allowing a run.
Anderson, who pitched for the junior varsity last season, was appreciative of the run support that began with single runs in the first two innings and three in the third.
“It’s nice to get out to a lead early,” Anderson said. “It’s a lot easier to pitch in this kind of game. It’s a lot less pressure.”
Kirby Sauble (2-for-3) scored the first run on a bases loaded walk by Leann Tyler (2-for-2) and she drove home Maddy Donato with the second.
The Comets had three walks in the first inning off reserve pitcher Alexandra Wynn, who was filling in for senior starter Cara Boarman, out sick with the flu.
“The one thing we did do today was we stayed disciplined in the strike zone,” Catonsville coach Steve McCleary said. “They waited until the ball was a strike, rather than swinging at anything and they did a good job of that.”
Catonsville scored three runs in the third inning after a double by Paige Fricke and run-scoring singles by Rachel Herman (2-for-2) and Tyler.
The third run scored when Amber Lalley reached on an error.
Tyler and Alisa Fisher had two-run singles in the fourth and the Comets tacked on two more in the fifth.
Anderson’s toughest jams came in the third and fourth innings.
In the third, the Wolverines had one out with runners on second and third with one out when sophomore third baseman Parker drilled a liner to right center field that Sauble tracked down and held the lead runner at third.
In the fourth, the Wolverines scored their only run when a pair of walks and a wild pitch led to Sheena McKnight crossing the plate for their only run.
Parker felt comfortable despite allowing the base runners in the middle innings.
“I have on days and off days and typically when I’m more relaxed I throw better,” said Anderson, noting she was at ease.
The lack of hitting for the Wolverines puzzled coach Tali Lemus.
“We’ve been hitting,” he said “Today, they just lacked a little bit of focus in the box. I think they are seeing the pitches well. They are just having a mental block for a second, and that mental block comes when its most critical, unfortunately.”
After high-scoring close games in the Comets previous wins, Catonsville’s Anderson was happy to win by a comfortable margin.
“I think it’s a good confidence booster because we have a couple of tough games coming up,” Anderson said.
Catonsville hosts Perry Hall on April 11 and plays on three consecutive days against Hereford, Lansdowne and Mount de Sales after Easter break.
Western Tech hosts Towson on April 11 at Catonsville Middle School and coach Lemus is just hoping to get his team more experience.
“A lot of these girls are young,” Lemus said. “In two years, when they are seniors they are going to be strong players, but right now, they are trying to step up and fill holes that seniors and juniors’ injuries have created.”
Lemus’ daughter, Cheyenne, the starting catcher and captain, was lost to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee before the season and starting center fielder Moriah Nicholson tore her ACL this week playing basketball.
“There is a lot of potential,” Lemus said. “They show signs and flashes of shear brilliance. We were just off today.”