Emily Bowman delivered one of her best all-around efforts of the season and Centennial stayed hot Friday with its third victory in the last four games.
Bowman went a perfect 4-4 at the plate, finishing a double short of the cycle, and pitched five innings of five-hit ball to help the Eagles to a 12-1 victory over visiting Long Reach. After struggling out of the gates this spring, Centennial (4-5, 5-6-1) is showing real signs of putting it all together.
“It’s been a team effort all week and I’m so proud of them for that,” coach Kathryn Grimm said. “This is the week that we truly have started playing the best softball we have all season and I think the girls are seeing that we are capable of beating anyone if we play this way.”
The team opened the week with a 2-1 victory over Reservoir and then, following a 7-3 setback against Howard, has followed it up with wins over Oakland Mills and now Long Reach (2-7, 2-8).
“The Reservoir win definitely started us off and I think that was a turning point in terms of giving us the confidence to finish the week like we have,” Bowman said.
Long Reach struck first Friday in the top of the first inning on a double by Madison Basham to drive in Cloe Dixon, who had singled. But Bowman got out of the inning without any further damage and then came up in the Eagles’ half of the frame and didn’t waste any time getting her team going.
Bowman’s leadoff triple, followed by a double by Anna Cowan quickly tied the score.
“When the girls see their starting pitcher come out and leadoff with a triple, it’s like ‘Alright, game on.’ I thought that set the tone,” Grimm said.
Centennial went on to score three more times in the first inning to make it 4-1. Cowan came around to score, Bri Pomerantz walked and scored, and Emily Allen delivered a two-RBI single before coming around to score herself.
The Eagles didn’t slow down in the second inning, with Bowman, Cowan, Pomerantz and Allen all once again getting hits and all eventually coming around to score to make it 8-1.
Long Reach threatened in the third to claw back in it, with Alina Milauskas and Noelle Colligan getting on after hard hits to shortstop. But after loading the bases with a walk, Centennial managed to get out of the jam without surrendering a single run.
Then in the bottom half of the third, the Eagles’ offense effectively put the game away. Bowman’s two-run home run to right field, along with a double by Pomerantz, was among the highlights of another four-run inning.
“It’s been great to see everybody’s bats come alive … it definitely helps out me and the defense,” Bowman said. “We’ve been practicing hitting a lot, really putting a lot of focus on that and I think it’s paying off.”
By game’s end, Centennial had put up 15 hits on its way to its second straight game scoring in double digits.
Centennial 12, Long Reach 1
123 45 R-H-E
LR 100 00 1-5-4
C 444 0x 12-15-2