One of the things Eastern Tech freshman pitcher Jordan Cargile has learned over the course of the Mavericks' undefeated season is that plenty of trust and confidence has formed among her teammates.
In Monday's Baltimore County softball championship game against Lansdowne, those traits were tested early.
After surrendering three first-inning runs, however, Cargile and the No. 5 Mavericks settled down, while the No. 10 Vikings struggled defensively in the big-game atmosphere.
Cargile didn't yield any more runs after the first, finished with two doubles to spark the offense, and the Mavericks took advantage of six Lansdowne errors to come from behind for a 5-3 win at CCBC-Catonsville.
Eastern Tech improves to 16-0, while Lansdowne falls to 15-3 with the regional playoffs set to begin later in the week.
For Cargile, who allowed four hits in the final six shutout innings, there's always reassurance that the Mavericks will find a way to pull through.
"I was doubting myself [in the first inning] — I'm like a worry wart," said Cargile . "I've learned that I can always trust my team though no matter what. They had my back and it was just a great game overall."
Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth, the Mavericks scored three times to take a 4-3 lead. Cargile's run-scoring double down the third-base line was sandwiched between two Lansdowne errors and a passed ball.
Cargile then led off the sixth inning with another double, moved to third on Lindsay Meyers' sacrifice bunt and scored on Ashley Sauerwein's grounder for a 5-3 lead.
After falling to Eastern Tech, 2-0, in the regular season, the Vikings couldn't have asked for a better start, with their first three batters scoring. Leadoff batter Kelli Pease set the tone by hitting a sharp triple to the gap in right-center field and then scoring on Hunter Long's single up the middle.
But the Vikings couldn't generate any more runs after the first and their defense let them down, as four of the five Mavericks' runs were unearned.
Lansdowne pitcher Maude McCourry pitched well, not allowing a hit until Cargile's first double in the fourth and finishing with seven strikeouts.
Lansdowne coach Jamie Izdebski said the Vikings simply didn't make the defensive plays they've made most of the season.
"Defensively, we just weren't making basic fundamental plays that we know how to do. It's extremely uncharacteristic," she said.
L 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 -- 3 8 6
ET 1 0 0 3 0 1 x -- 5 3 1
Mau. McCourry and Stull; Cargile and Sauerwein.
2B: ET – Cargile 2. 3B: L – Pease 2.