Trailing 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Mount de Sales rallied with seven runs and held off Seton Keough, 7-6, to win the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship game at Bachman Park Monday.
The Sailors (17-4) earned their first championship since 2004, when they last played in the final game.
“It’s amazing,” Mout de Sales pitcher Ashley Lesniewski said. “It’s like a dream come true. I’ve been wanting this for four years. It’s a great feeling.”
The seven-run rally began with an infield single by Hannah Cimerola.
One out later, Sarah Hughes and Stefani Senkus loaded the bases with singles.
Jenny Slade plated the first Sailor run on a soft single to left field.
Jess Jurney followed with a booming two-run double over left fielder Kelly Lynch’s head.
“It was a great feeling,” Jurney said. “Honestly, I thought the girl was going to catch it then I realized I just hit in two runs and it was the best feeling.”
“Jess is the best hitter on our team,” Sailors coach Pete Waskiewicz said. “That’s why Jess bats number one. She is amazing and she has done it all year for us.”
Slade and Jurney scored on Emma Mires’ seeing-eye single to tie the score at 5-5.
Lesniewski followed with a towering double to right center field that scored Mires and Lesniewski followed her home after a throwing error for a 7-5 lead.
“Hitting is contagious and one girl starts it off and we are a hitting team,” said Lesniewski, who has committed to play at Salisbury University next season.
Before the Sailors’ big inning, Seton Keough ace Hannah Tavik had blanked the Sailors on one Ronnie Rittie hit.
“They came through in the clutch when they had to and we let them off the hook,” Seton Keough coach Chuck Snee said.
The Gators (16-3) scored an unearned run in the first inning when Tavik scored after Amber Cosgrove reached on a throwing error.
In the second, the Gators added four as Kasey Roszel tripled and Lori Sena reached on a bunt single to set the table for twins Hailee and Allison Clampitt.
Hailee drove in Roszel with a sharp single to left and Aliison tripled home Sena and Hailee.
Morgan Scardina’s sacrifice fly plated the fourth run of the inning.
“We had them on the ropes in the first two innings,” Snee said. “We had the chance to put the pressure on them and we let up.”
After the second inning, Lesniewski held the Gators to just three hits, but she did encounter trouble in the top of the sixth.
Hailee Clampitt led off with an infield single and she moved to third one out later after a double by Scardina.
Clampitt scored on a wild pitch and Scardina advanced to third, but Tavik lined out to second baseman Hughes and, after Mikki Kouneski (2-for-3) walked, Cosgrove lined to center fielder Jurney for one of her seven putouts in the contest.
“She is amazing out there,” Lesniewski said.
In the seventh, Lesniewski retired the side in order on a pop up and pair of strikeouts.
“In the last inning she threw harder than she did the previous six,” Waskiewicz said. “She was pumped and she wanted it. She deserves it because she’s been here for four years and she’s a hard worker.”