Playing at home Monday in a 3A North Section II softball semifinal, the sixth-seeded C. Milton Wright Mustangs were one strike away from elimination before they pieced together a two-out, two-run rally to beat the seventh-seeded Bel Air Bobcats, 2-1.
In the team's third meeting this season, both starters were untouchable for the first six innings, with the Mustangs' Morghan Fulton and the Bobcats' Rayn Gibson throwing zeros.
"[That] was a pitching duel in the best way," CMW head coach Russ Kovach said. "Both pitchers were fantastic.
In the top of the seventh, Gibson reached base with a one-out single, then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Courtesy runner Brianna Fleishmann scored the Bobcats' lone run on a bloop single by Taylor Hensley.
After Gibson had retired the first two batters of the inning in the bottom of the seventh, CMW's Jenny Lynch started things with a two-strike single.
Rachel Knoebel followed with another two-strike base hit, which brought Quinn Ursprung to the plate. Hitless in two previous at-bats, Ursprung finished the game with a two-RBI double to the gap in right center field.
Fulton allowed three hits, walked one and struck out three to get the win.
Gibson surrendered six hits and struck out six for the Bobcats.
In the sectional final on Wednesday, the Mustangs are slated to play a 4 p.m. road game with top-seeded North Harford.
Havre de Grace moving on
The second-seeded Havre de Grace Warriors earned a berth in the 2A East Section I finals on Monday with an 8-3 home-field victory over third-seeded Colonel Richardson.
In the sectional finals on Wednesday, the Warriors are slated to play a 4 p.m. road game with top-seeded Bo Manor.
Emily Lewis came through with a three-RBI triple for Havre de Grace, while teammate Lindsey Fenner smacked a two-RBI double. Olivia Dubois went 2-for-3.
Havre de Grace starter Megan Thompson tossed a complete game, allowing one earned run on five hits, walking two and recording five strikeouts.
North Harford eliminates Aberdeen
In an all-local 3A North Section II contest at North Harford on Monday, the top-seeded Hawks came away with an 8-1 victory over the fifth-seeded Aberdeen Eagles.
With the Hawks holding a narrow 2-1 lead after 3-1/2 innings, North Harford blew the game open in the home half of the fourth with a six-run rally.
Kristin Stiles led off with a triple, which was followed by hits from Hunter Harbough, Krista Hiser and Allyson Meil. The next three hitters, Alexis Lyttle, Julianne Caughron and Kaitlin Horsey each contributed a single, which brought the score to 7-1. Stiles wrapped up the rally with an RBI double.
Lyttle was 3-for-4 with three runs and one RBI, while Caughron was 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Horsey went 3-for-4 with one RBI and one run.
Lyttle started for the Hawks and went three innings, allowing one earned run on four hits, walking two and striking out one. Harbough tossed the final four innings, holding Aberdeen to a pair of hits, allowing three walks and recording seven strikeouts.
Tech defeats Patterson Mill
The fifth-seeded Harford Tech Cobras knocked off the 2A East Section I top seed Patterson Mill, 6-2, Monday on the Huskies field.
Harford Tech's Ally Venuto was 1-for-2 with two RBIs, while Sarah North had one RBI and scored one run. Rhonda Mahaley was 1-for-3 with a double, and Emily Bowler was 1-for-2 with one run.
Kat Lewis was 1-for-2 with one run and one RBI, and Emily Wikane was 1-for-1.
Patterson Mill's Becca Borowski was 1-for-3 with a triple and one run. Meredith Price was 1-for-2 with two RBIs.
Bel Air pounds Dundalk
In the most lopsided of Thursday's opening-round playoff matchups, seventh-seeded Bel Air pummeled second-seeded host Dundalk, 26-0, in the 3A North Section II tournament.
The game was halted after five innings by the 10-run rule.
Bel Air hurler Ryan Gibson tossed a perfect game, striking out 14 of the 15 batters she faced over five innings. Gibson helped her own cause at the plate with a three-run homer, two base hits and two RBIs.
Bel Air's Sara Fleishmann was 5-for-5 with a double and three RBIs, Leah Lozzi cracked and RBI triple and Taylor Hensley had a double and three RBIs. Taylor Scott was 4-for-5 with two double and three RBIs, Emily Strawbridge belted out a two-RBI double, Breanna Fleishmann had a single and a stolen base in the victory and Morgan Dvorak had a base hit for the Bobcats. Kelsea Hilditch had an RBI single and stole one base.
Bel Air will travel to play sixth-seeded CMW in the sectional semifinal round at 4 p.m. Monday.
CMW over Edgewood
In an all-local 3A North Section II matchup at Edgewood on Thursday, the sixth-seeded CMW Mustangs knocked the third-seeded Rams out of contention with a 15-0 win.
The game was called after five innings by the 10-run rule.
CMW starter Morghan Fulton had a perfect game spoiled by one fifth-inning single, but still managed to post a complete-game shutout. At the plate, Fulton was 3-for-4 with a double and four RBIs.
CMW's Brianna Cech, who was making her varsity debut in this game, ripped a triple and scored one run.
Tech tops Elkton
Playing on the road in the first round of the 2A East Section I competition on Thursday, the fifth-seeded Harford Tech Cobras knocked off fourth-seeded Elkton, 17-7.
Harford Tech pitcher Kim Cook earned the win with a 3-2/3-inning relief stint.
Ally Venuto led the Cobras at the plate, going 4-for-4 with four runs and two RBIs. Lindsay Bowler was 3-for-4 with a two-run homer, three runs scored and four RBIs, Sarah North was 2-for-4 with one run and three RBIs, Molly Mioduszewsky knocked in two runs and Kaitlyn Vane was 2-for-4 with a double and one run.
In Monday's sectional semifinal round, the Cobras will travel to play top-seeded Patterson Mill at 4 p.m.
Aberdeen over Patapsco
Fifth-seeded Aberdeen took a 14-2 opening-round win over fourth-seeded Patapsco in the 3A North Section II tournament on Thursday.
Aberdeen was declared winner after five innings by the 10-run rule.
Sarah Tyce paced the Aberdeen lineup, blasting two home runs, stealing five bases and posting six RBIs. Morgan Sulzbach and Hannah Demarest each had two RBIs.
Aberdeen will next take on top-seeded host North Harford at 4 p.m. Monday in the sectional semifinals.
Havre de Grace crushes Joppa
Recently crowned UCBAC softball champ Havre de Grace kept its season rolling Thursday, defeating visiting seventh seed Joppatowne, 20-2, in the 1A East Section I tournament's first round.
The game was halted after five innings by the 10-run rule.
Havre de Grace's Allison Lewis and Samara White both went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs, while Olivia Dubois was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Lindsey Fenner cracked out a double and a home run in the victory, while Annelise Beer was 2-for-2 with a double. Kateri Paters, Rebecca Ashman and Taylor Smith all hit a double for the Warriors, while Riley Arnold finished the game 2-for-3.
In the sectional semifinal round on Monday, the Warriors will host a 4 p.m. home game against the winner of a first-round game between third-seeded Colonel Richardson and sixth-seeded St. Michael's.