For a brief moment on Thursday, with Atholton scoring in the bottom of the sixth to make it a one-run ball game against visiting River Hill, it appeared that the Raiders were poised to snatch the momentum.
The Hawks, however, had other plans.
River Hill pitcher Sabrina Curtiss induced a ground ball to second with two runners on base to get out of the sixth with the lead and then let her offense do the rest. The Hawks proceeded to send 15 runners to the plate and score 10 runs on nine hits in the top of the seventh, breaking things wide open en route to a critical 12-1 victory.
“I was definitely starting to get a little rattled there, but (my teammates) always have my back,” Curtiss said. “We got in (to the dugout) and they were like ‘alright we gave that up, we’re going to make it up by hitting.’ They always got me … I love them.”
In that 10-run seventh inning, River Hill (4-1, 4-1) did all of its damage with two outs and it wasn’t until an error by the Raiders’ infield with the bases loaded that the team plated its first run. After that, though, the flood gates opened.
During one stretch in the inning, eight straight batters reached base and seven were courtesy of hits. Courtney Colosimo had two doubles and scored two runs in the inning, Curtiss delivered a 3-RBI double and Hayley Lala scored a pair of runs as well before Atholton (3-1, 3-2) was finally able to get off the field.
“We talked before the inning about how we weren’t done and how you are never safe with any lead in this county, especially not one run,” River Hill coach Marni Rosenbaum said. “We scored 10 runs all with two outs … an excellent job of taking it one batter, one pitch of a time and everyone was driving the ball.”
On the other side, Atholton coach Bob Baxter said things slipped away very quickly.
“A couple defensive mistakes and a couple mental mistakes and those add up quickly against a good team,” he said. “We got away from a lot of the things we talk about. But, as I just told the girls, it’s over now and time to refocus and come out better tomorrow.”
For the first six innings, the game had been a pitcher’s duel. River Hill’s Curtiss and Atholton’s Alex Herschman had limited damage by working the corners and allowing their defenses to make plays.
The Hawks had struck first in the opening inning when Colosimo singled to lead off and was driven in by a SAC fly from Kinsey Johnson. Then River Hill upped its lead to 2-0 in the fifth when Johnson singled home Caroline Hickey, who had gotten on base with a two-out double.
And, with the way Curtiss was pitching, that seemed at the time like it might be plenty of run support.
“I was really trying to make my pitches move because I had pitched the other day and I was still a little sore,” Curtiss said. “I was trying to focus more on getting the ball to spin off my hand. My defense really backed me up too.”
Through the first five innings, Atholton had just four hits.
“River Hill’s pitcher did a great job of keeping us off balance,” Baxter said. “We didn’t hit and in this county you’ve got to hit to win ball games … it took too long for us to begin putting hits together.”
It was in the sixth, though, that Atholton finally strung together three hard drives in a row. Maya Schwartz started things with a 2-out single, followed by a single by Miranda Thompson and an RBI single by freshman Allison Orlosky.
Curtiss got out of the frame with a ground ball to prevent any further damage, however, and that set the stage for the big final inning.
River Hill 12, Atholton 1
123 456 7 R-H-E
RH 100 010 (10) 12-14-1
A 000 001 0 1-7-6
Centennial 11, Hammond 0 (5 innings)
Emily Bowman pitched a one-hitter, allowing just a single to Caroline Goyne in the second inning. Bowman faced 17 batters, struck out 5 and walked none.
Freshman Camryn Allen had two diving catches to help preserve the clean sheet behind Bowman.
Offensively, Emily Allen (2-3, 2 runs, 3 RBI, double) and Sammy Kastner (2-3, run, 4 RBI, double, triple) led the way hitting back-to-back in the line-up. The rest of the team combined for six more hits.
Emily Speierman and Goyne split the pitching duties for Hammond.
123 45 R-H-E
Ha 000 00 0-0-1
C 004 51 10-10-1
Mt. Hebron 19, Wilde Lake 0 (5 innings)
The Vikings got a combined no-hitter from Evvie Buehlman and Maddie Bennett, the second time this season the duo has accomplished the feat, on the way to the five-inning victory.
Offensively, Mt. Hebron scored at least two runs in every inning. Alli Bluhm and Aaliyah Montague-Bass each had triples, while Sammi Cadigan had a double.
Wilde Lake’s Cierra Lester spoiled the perfect game with a walk in the second inning.
123 45 R-H-E
MH 743 23 19-7-0
WL 000 00 0-0-8
Long Reach 15, Marriotts Ridge 5 (6 innings)
The Lightning combined for 15 hits and 15 runs, with five doubles. That offensive surge, combined with six strong innings from pitcher Isa Carunungan (3 strikeouts, 2 walks), helped Long Reach defeat the Mustangs for the first time in coach Melissa Boardman’s five years with the varsity team.
Carunungan added two singles and scored three runs, while Christina Doshim was 2-4 with a single and a double. Alina Milauskas went 3-3 with two doubles and Abby Bakunas finished 3-5.
The offensive highlights for Marriotts Ridge were one double each from Isabelle Ssala and Alex Cwalina.
123 456 R
LR 372 102 15
MR 401 000 5
Howard 14, Oakland Mills 0 (5 innings)
The Lions got a no-hitter from Courtney Merson on the pitching rubber and the offense smacked out 11 hits on the way to the shutout victory.
Kayla Devin (triple, 4 RBI), Lori Sena (double, 3 RBI) and Merson (3 hits) were the offensive leaders for Howard, which stayed undefeated with the victory. Merson finished with seven strikeouts.
123 45 R-H-E
OM 000 00 0-0-1
Ho 561 20 14-11-1
Glenelg 3, Reservoir 2 (9 innings)
123 456 789 R-H-E
Re 000 000 200 2-6-0
G 002 000 001 3-9-0
WP – Colleen Regan
LP – Emily Wang
Chapelgate 18, Garrison Forest 2 (5 innings)
The Yellowjackets got big offensive days from Lydia Martin (3 hits), Gabby Rowan (2 hits, 5 RBI) and Bethanne Venkatesan (2 hits, 3 RBI) on the way to the runaway victory. Venkatesan struck out eight batters at pitcher for Chapelgate.