In an opening day softball game suspended after three innings because of rain, host Catonsville left a muddy field with a 2-0 lead over Sparrows Point on Friday afternoon.
The game will be resumed in the top of the fourth inning when the Comets travel to Sparrows Point for a regularly-scheduled game on May 21.
Senior Sammi Sisolak was the pitching ace and junior shortstop Maggie Kreis provided the hitting heroics with a two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the third.
Sisolak retired Sparrows Point’s Molly Shelly on a fly out to left leading off the game and then she struck out the next seven batters using mainly a rising fastball.
“That’s the rise ball and that’s the plan, inch up every time they swing at it and they helped me out,” Sisolak said.
As the rain got harder, her pitches also got harder to hit.
“I’ve been pitching for years and one thing I’m good at, and I don’t know the reason, but I’m good at wet ball pitching, so I can do it,” Sisolak said. “I just need a towel every once and awhile.”
Sparrows Point threatened in the top of the third with back-to-back infield hits by Jada Robinson and Shelly. But Sisolak got the final out on a grounder to first baseman Aysha Partin, who flipped it to second baseman Grace Bielski covering first.
“That’s usually the way it goes. A pitcher is doing really good and all of the sudden you get that bloop single and the next thing you know another one happens,” Catonsville coach Paul Harris said. “I’m very proud of them. They gathered themselves, they got it together, got out of that inning, didn’t give up any runs and then came back in the bottom of the inning and got two runs, so that was good.”
The coach, who took over as head coach for Steve McCleary this year, was especially pleased with Sisolak’s first 2 2/3 innings.
“She was looking really good today,” Harris said. “The rise ball was dominating and as long as she can throw like that all season, I think we are going to be in great shape.”
Catonsville’s offense threatened in the first inning when Devyn Tracey led off with a single and stole second, but two deep fly balls by Abby Mitchell and Kreis were caught and the Comets failed to score.
In the bottom of the second, the Comets threatened again with a two-out walk by Caelyn Voss, and error after a bunt by Sam Rickwalder put runners on second in third. Sparrows Point hurler Karen Fritzges got out of the jam on a pop out.
Tracey doubled to lead off the bottom of the third and scored two batters later when Kreis laced one over the fence in left center field.
“She definitely put the bat on it and it was a good hard solid line drive by that kid and it’s going to go out,” Harris said.
Kreis was just happy to get a pitch in her wheelhouse.
“I’ve been looking for inside pitches a lot more recently, so I was looking inside and it was right there,” she said. “I was kind of surprised it went out.”
Muddy conditions and a heavier rain forced the game to be suspended after the inning, but Harris knows his kids were happy to deal with the elements, after not getting a 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“As miserable as I know they were, I know they are much happier being out here playing then sitting at home,” Harris said.
In three competitive innings and after the preseason practices, Harris knows his team will improve.
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“All lot of these kids in this lineup have power, so it’s about getting them to square it up a little bit,” Harris said. “It’s early in the season, so give them a few more live at bats underneath their belt and I think things will be better.”