The Perry Hall softball team takes pride in the details.
The No. 4 Gators appreciate a sacrifice bunt as much as a big hit. They make sure to get the lead runner, make opponents go station to station to try to bring home a run and have found a knack for getting the big outs.
Veteran coach Brian Radcliffe, in his 18th season, urges his players to be "brilliant at the basics."
With No. 7 Mount de Sales visiting on Wednesday, the Gators practiced what Radcliffe has been preaching with a 7-2 win over the Sailors.
Sophomore pitcher Miranda Lobus got the big outs when needed, leaning on fine defense behind her, and she also went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Senior catcher Brittany Kingery hit a double and triple and drove in one run.
Perry Hall improves to 11-3 on the season, while Mount de Sales falls to 14-4.
The Gators set the tone in the bottom of the first inning with a 2-0 lead. Leadoff batter Hannah Lewis walked, moved to second on Brooke Powers' sacrifice bunt and scored on Kingery's double to left field. A two-out double by Abby Hollen brought home Wille. It's been a common theme for the Gators this season as they prime for a run at a state championship.
"We got every bunt down, we moved people along and our hitters drove them in — it was textbook small ball that we always try to play here at Perry Hall," Radcliffe said. "I tease the kids all the time about being brilliant about the basics because those little things make the difference. That was our most complete game of the season — we played really well."
Lobus allowed 10 hits, but didn't walk a batter and kept the Sailors from getting the key hit as the Gators took a 7-0 lead into the seventh inning before yielding the two runs with the help of two errors. Mount de Sales loaded the bases in the top of the second inning with three straight two-out singles, but Lobus got leadoff batter Emma Mires to line out to Lewis in center field.
The Gators took a 3-0 lead in the third when Kingery tripled and scored on a Lobus single. A four-run fourth — Lobus again supplying the key hit with a two-run single — padded the lead to 7-0.
The Sailors, who got a 3-for-4 performance from senior second baseman Sarah Hughes, are confident they can bounce back with the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference playoffs starting next week. They will enter the playoffs with either the first or second seed.
"We just couldn't get the big hit and there was a few chances there. We left a lot of runners on in the first three innings and if you can't get the big hit, you're not going to win. They've got a real nice ballclub," Mount de Sales coach Pete Waskiewicz.
4 Perry Hall 7, 7 Mount de Sales 2
MdS 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 -- 2 10 2
PH 2 0 1 4 0 0 x -- 7 7 3
Lesniewski and Zalucki; lobus and Kingery.
2B: MdS – Hughes; PH – Kingery, Hollen. 3B: PH -- Kingery