Mount de Sales head coach Pete Waskiewicz said the strength of his 6-1 squad is pitching, defense and timely hitting. That’s exactly the formula the Sailors used to defeat Seton Keough, 8-4, at the Catonsville Senior Center on a breezy Wednesday afternoon.
The Sailors scored seven of their eight runs on two-out hits and never trailed as they handed the Gators (4-2) their second loss in a row after four straight victories to start the season.
Seton Keough fell to Eastern Tech, 3-2, in eight innings on April 1.
This one looked like it was going to be tight like many past clashes between the rivals.
The Sailors built a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Jessica Jurney led off with a walk and scored on freshman Hannah Cimerola’s grounder that was bobbled for an error.
Sarah Hughes (3-for-3) stroked a two-out single to left field that plated Ronnie Rittie and Cimerola.
Seton Keough made it 3-2 in the top of the third inning after Morgan Scardina led off with a single and scored on a triple to right field by Hannah Tavik (3-for-3).
Kelly Lynch reached on a fielders’ choice and scored later in the inning on an RBI single by Lori Sena.
Sena transferred from Mount de Sales to Seton Keough this year.
The Sailors responded with two runs in the bottom of the third for a 5-2 lead.
Emma Mires reached on an error and Ashley Lesniewski (3-for-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI) singled and Ronnie Rittie reached on a fielders choice before Lesniewski and Rittie came home on Abby Zulucki’s two-out two-run single.
“The biggest play of the game was when they scored their two runs we came back in the bottom of the inning and scored two runs,” Waskiewicz said. “To me, that was the game right there. We didn’t roll over like we usually do. We fought hard and we came back.”
The Sailors tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on a two-out RBI single by Lesniewski, followed by a two-run double by Cimerola.
The 8-2 lead was trimmed to 8-4 in the top of the seventh when Lynch plated Tavik and Amber Cosgrove, who had both singled, with a one-out double.
But, pitcher Lesniewski retired the final two hitters to finish the 9-hit 6-strikeout complete game.
“Ashley is the real deal. As far as I’m concerned she can pitch with anybody,” Waskiewicz said. “We give her some defense and we give her some timely hitting and we will be there.”
Seton Keough, which won the Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title last year when they went 15-1, is hoping to get more consistent glovework.
The Sailors produced 10 singles and reached on three Gator errors.
“They played well. They hit they ball and put the ball in play and made the plays and we didn’t,” Seton Keough coach Chuck Snee said. “Our defense has not been our strength this year.”