Seton Keough’s Gators got a wakeup call on April 12 when they suffered their first loss of the season, and they took it out on visiting Mount de Sales on Monday afternoon.
The No. 7-ranked Gators pounded out 15 hits and cruised to a 12-2 victory over the No. 9 Sailors.
As if the Gators’ 8-0 loss to top-ranked Eastern Tech on Saturday wasn’t motivation enough, losing the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship game to Mount de Sales last spring added more fuel to their determination.
“I think it was a combination of both losses,” said Seton Keough junior pitcher Kelly Lynch, who allowed six hits and walked none in the five-inning complete game. “We had to prove ourselves either way, so we really wanted this game.”
Lynch also proved herself at the plate with three hits and three RBIs.
Senior twins Allison (4-for-4, three runs scored) and Hailee Clampitt (3-for-3) were perfect at the plate, and Morgan Scardina added three hits and three runs scored for Seton Keough (8-1 overall, 8-0 conference).
“Give them credit, they hit the ball and they fielded it,” said Mount de Sales coach Pete Waskiewicz, whose team is 7-3, 6-2. “The shortstop made four outstanding plays and Kelly made a couple nice plays on the mound. ... You get that kind of defense behind you and you can do whatever you want.”
Seton Keough shortstop Amber Cosgrove set the tone on the first play of the game when she dug a ball out of the hole and threw out Emma Mires by a step.
In the third inning, she made another tough play when she tossed out Stefani Senkus on a ball that was deflected off the glove of Lynch. In the fourth inning, she caught a Hannah Cimerola liner off her shoetops.
Left fielder Rebecca Lewis also made a diving basket catch on a line drive by Taylor Forgen.
Seton Keough’s offense hit early and often.
Allison Clampitt led off the game with a single and Morgan Scardina doubled her to third. Lynch drove a single to center field, but Scardina was called for interference with the shortstop, so the dead ball out sent Clampitt back to third.
Sophomore pitcher Emily Fitzsimmons threw out Clampitt at home on a fielder's choice, but Seton Keough manufactured a pair of runs on a double steal by Lynch and Cosgrove and a wild pitch for a 2-0 lead.
The Gators extended the lead to 5-0 in the third. Singles by Allison Clampitt, Imani Dawson and Hailee Clampitt and a two-run double by Lynch keyed the uprising.
A triple by Allison Clampitt and RBI singles from Scardina and Lynch sparked a three-run fourth, and Jillian Boyd, Lewis, Clampitt and Scardina ended the game with runs scored in the fifth.
Mount de Sales scored its runs in the fifth on a Senkus single, Kate Calderon double and RBI singles by Mires and Fitzsimmons.
Before that, the only hits against Lynch came on a two-out double by Jess Jurney in the first and a double by Mires in the third.
“When these girls are hitting and they are playing defense, this is what you come to expect,” said Seton Keough coach Chuck Snee, who noted in all eight victories the Gators have won by at least 10 runs.
Lynch has four no-hitters throwing to converted catcher Hailee Clampitt, who is in her first season behind the plate.
She appreciates the run support.
“I think everyone is contributing in the lineup this year, which is really helping us and it’s taking the pressure off me and our defense.”
Snee thinks the bats might be stronger than last season. “I told them after four games, as good as that team was last year, this team has the potential to be better because this whole lineup hits,” he said.
Waskiewicz won’t argue with that, but he also knows Mount de Sales can’t give up extra outs.
“When you don’t do a rundown right and cover the bases like we are supposed to do, it makes for a long afternoon, and boy, was that a long afternoon,” he said.
The teams are scheduled to meet again (weather permitting) on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m. at Catonsville Middle School.