Hereford softball coach Laura Blama is hoping that the rematch with Eastern Tech in the Baltimore County championship game Tuesday won’t be a rerun of the regular-season matchup between the teams in late March.
Eastern Tech routed the Bulls, 10-0, in Essex, in a game shortened to six innings because of the slaughter rule.
Blama used her backup pitcher, freshman Erin Collins, and she had a rough outing.
This time, Blama will send Collins’ sister, ace and senior LeAnne Collins, to the mound for Hereford (12-2) against three-time defending county champion Eastern Tech (18-0) for the 3:45 p.m. matchup at Community College of Baltimore County-Dundalk.
Salisbury University recruit LeAnne Collins (11-1) has struck out 124 batters in 67 innings and given up only 28 hits while fashioning a 0.63 ERA.
But she hasn't faced a team as tough as the Mavericks, who are ranked No. 1 in the Baltimore Sun high school softball poll and have lost only once in the past two seasons.
“We will have to have the game of our lives to beat them,” said Blama, who calls Eastern Tech the best county team she’s seen in 14 years. “We have the talent and ability. We just have to have everything working at once.”
Trying to hit Eastern Tech senior pitcher Jordan Cargile will be the biggest challenge.
The 5-foot-8 Cargile, who will attend the University of Delaware on a softball scholarship next season, is 18-0 with 143 strikeouts and only five walks in 86 innings. She has given up only five earned runs.
Cargile has gotten plenty of run support. The Mavericks are batting .530.
Catcher Brooke Samios-Uy (batting .656, 36 RBIs), center fielder Giselle Alvarez (.642, 4 home runs, 33 RBIs), third baseman Bre Casper (7, 39) and right fielder Sarah Heagy (.577) spearhead their lineup.
The Bulls will counter with a lineup led by LeAnne Collins (hitting .721), shortstop Erin Collins (.583, 6, 35), second baseman Caprice Roche (.523) and Lizzie Bienert (.525).
“We aren’t scared of anybody,” Eastern Tech coach Jack Meyers said. “We like to get up for big games and the county championship is a big game. The kids like the spotlight.”