Defending Class 2A state softball champion Eastern Tech has conquered almost every obstacle thrown its way this season.
Defending Class 2A state softball champion Eastern Tech has conquered almost every obstacle thrown its way this season. However, the way the No. 1 Mavericks rallied past No. 2 Seton Keough on Friday in Essex is easily their biggest accomplishment so far this spring.
Eastern Tech exploded for nine runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to turn back the defending Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference champion Gators, 12-10, to extend its winning streak to 38 games.
Senior center fielder Giselle Alvarez capped the comeback with a three-run home run to tie the score before Jen January scored the winning run on an error.
Eastern Tech junior catcher Sarah Heagy had a solo home run and finished with 4 RBIs.
"We always stress to the kids, 'be patient. You never know what can happen in a game,'" Eastern Tech coach Jack Meyers said. "They just kept battling and fighting today. We have never come back from seven-runs down to win a game in my six years as coach."
Eastern Tech (25-0) trailed, 10-3, heading into the sixth.
Still, the Mavericks' reputation as a comeback team loomed large in the opposing dugout because of a power-packed lineup that is batting nearly .500.
That lineup produced in a big way, sending 13 batters to the plate in the sixth against Seton Keough senior and Catholic University recruit Kelly Lynch (12-2, , 0.75 ERA, 147 strikeouts).
It started when January and Brooke Retkowski led off with back-to-back singles before Sara Ciekot followed with a single to right field that plated January and Retkowski when the ball was booted in the outfield.
Even so, Lynch appeared to get out of trouble by striking out the next two batters.
With a 10-5 lead and two outs, Brooks Samios-UY and Heagy had RBI singles before Alvarez clubbed a shot to the left-center field gap that hit halfway up a temporary fence and bounced over to knot the score at 10-10.
Lynch then walked January, who stole second. Retkowski, the 11th batter of the inning, blooped a popup that was dropped for an error and allowed January to score the go-ahead run.
"We just have to get to the point where we make the routine plays," Seton Keough coach Chuck Snee said. "We know they are going to score runs, but if we make the routine plays, then they don't score nine runs in an inning. We kept putting them in a position where their big hitters would come up with a chance to make something happen, and they did."
The Gators (12-2) jumped out on top with a run in the first and two more in the third on Amber Cosgrove's two-run single.
They boosted their lead to 7-1 in the fifth on Sara Minnis' run-scoring double, Jayla Pinkney's RBI double and Cosgrove's solo home run.