No. 3 Calvert Hall came out swinging, scoring seven runs in the first two innings before beating visiting No. 8 Archbishop Curley, 8-1, on Saturday in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference baseball playoff game.
In five innings, David Gately gave up one run on seven hits, walked five and struck out four for the win. Manny Rodriguez worked two innings of relief. Gately went 2-for-4 with a homer and Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with a double.
The Cardinals face Archbishop Spalding for the championship at 5 p.m. today at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. Calvert Hall needs to win to force a tiebreaker Monday.
Catonsville 11, Sherwood 8: It wouldn't be a surprise if some of the Comets girls celebrated with a pizza for dinner after their Class 4A-3A state semifinal win over Sherwood at Northeast High on Saturday afternoon.
After all, they heard the word enough from coach Becky Clipp Cassilly, who employed a "pizza-and-one" defense designed to stop leading Sherwood scorer Emily Kenul (67 goals, 37 assists). The Comets defense did more than that, holding the Warriors (13-2) scoreless for the first 17:09 of the second half while Catonsville (10-7) rattled off five straight goals to pull away after a 5-5 halftime tie.
The win gave the Comets a shot at a state title against Severna Park on Tuesday or Wednesday at UMBC.
"We went straight into basketball mode because [Kenul] is so good — she is very, very good, and she was working us on that crease," said Cassilly, noting that the "pizza" defense is like a box-and-one scheme. Kayla Wood did most of the defending on Kenul, but got some relief from Trinity McPherson.
The rest of the defense, including senior Chloe Corbitt, Lila Nazarian, Madi Lazorchak and Maddie Schwaab, responded with stellar efforts, along with goalkeeper Savannah Cheuvront. Corbitt thought their strategy would work, but the defense tried to switch later in the second half and the Warriors capitalized.
"We talked to [Cassilly], and they scored two goals, and we went back to the pizza and it worked," Corbitt said. "She knows what she's talking about, so we just listen to her."
The Comets also needed to rally when top scorer Brooke Stevens (44 goals, 32 assists) injured her knee with 4:03 left in the first half and didn't return. Catonsville was trailing 5-4 at the time.
Lauren McDonald (three goals, two assists) responded with a great feed from behind the goal to Anderson Gill that tied it at 5 with 1:26 remaining in the half. It was the first of six straight goals for the Comets, who extended the lead to 10-5 with 8:52 left in the second half on a fast-break goal by Gill off Kelsey Scott's assist.
Stevens "is the heart of our offense," said McDonald, who took over the overall team scoring lead during the game with 47 goals and 31 assists. "She runs everything, she starts everything and we all look up to her, including myself. So losing her just kind of turned into looking to each other because that was all we had, was just to play as a team and play for Brooke, because we wanted to win more than anything after she went down."
—Craig Clary, Baltimore Sun Media Group