Carver A&T junior Mallory Cooper capped off a phenomenal week of pitching and hitting by leading the visiting No. 13 Wildcats to a 6-0 win over No. 5 Catonsville on Friday.
Cooper pitched a two-hitter with 14 strikeouts and only one walk, just days after throwing a no-hitter with 16 strikeouts in a win over Sparrows Point. She followed that with 16 strikeouts in a win over Perry Hall.
The win avenged the Wildcats’ only loss of the season, which came in a 2-1 defeat to Catonsville two weeks earlier.
“I was really looking forward to this game because I knew after our first game we could definitely do better defensively and offensively, and this game we really showed up,” Cooper said after her team improved to 11-1.
Catonsville (9-2) didn’t get its first hit until Maggie Kreis stroked a single to right with one out in the sixth. A two-out single by Abby Grimes in the seventh was the only other hit.
“The kid threw an amazing game, she did great,” Catonsville coach Paul Harris said. “She has found a groove, she’s looking real good right now.”
Cooper wasn’t worried about losing the no-hitter.
“I’m not mad about it, I’m so happy we won, our team did so well together today,” Cooper said. “I’m happy with the way I pitched, but I am so happy with the way we played today.”
She did it using her full repertoire of pitches.
“My change-up has not been my best pitch recently, so I’ve been working really hard trying to get it more consistent. It wasn’t the best today, but I’ve been trying to throw it as much as possible to get it more consistent,” she said. “I really like my screwball especially, it really rises very slightly so it gets a lot of swings and misses, and I just started throwing a curveball a couple months ago and that’s been a go-to pitch as well right on the outside corner.”
Coach Kevin Klimko has enjoy her talent on the mound all season.
“Mallory has really worked hard, she’s a great team leader and she keeps her teammates involved,” he said. “She is just one of those special kids that when you get in high school, you just love to coach and it’s been a great pleasure for me to have Mallory.”
At the plate against Catonsville, Cooper went 4-for-4 and her two-run triple in the second gave the Wildcats a lead they would never relinquished.
The three-bagger came after Jaiden Shaw reached on an infield hit and Robyn Palmer reached on a bunt.
Catonsville senior pitcher Maggie Kreis had wriggled out of a first-inning jam with three straight strikeouts after the Wildcats loaded the bases with no outs. But Cooper’s liner to right-center field broke the ice in the second.
Carver stretched the lead to 3-0 in the top of the third. Emily Hamp led off with a double and Teagan Hoey drove her in with a base hit.
Carver added some insurance runs in the top of the seventh.
Hamp, who has more RBIs than games played this season, hit a two-run homer and Maddie Gult doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hoey.
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“Catonsville was our only loss and as soon as we lost that game, these kids wanted to get back to this game,” Klimko said. “It was their goal and they came today focused and with as much heart as you are ever going to see.”
Catonsville lost its first game of the season earlier in the week when Towson broke open a tie game in the sixth inning, but Harris was still confident his team could rally against Carver.
“Never once that I didn’t think we would come back because we’ve shown all throughout this season that we have been able to put up runs in bunches,” Harris said. “Granted, that was a great pitcher right there, but you know anything can happen, it’s really just waking our bats up right now. We are in a little bit of a hitting slump team-wide, but we’ve got some things we are going to work on and hopefully we get some time to work on that stuff and come back stronger.”
Catonsville baseball wins thriller over Dulaney
Earlier this season, Catonsville lost in five innings to Dulaney, but moments after the Catonsville softball team lost on the hill above the baseball diamond, the Comets defeated the Lions, 6-5, in nine innings, on a walk-off single up the middle by Jake Folderauer.
The hit came after a leadoff double by Caleb Hess, sacrifice bunt by Eli Beyer and a pair of intentional walks.
Senior pitcher Mason Westphal pitched seven strong innings after coming in the second inning and Sean Ryan picked up the win with a scoreless ninth.
“It was a great game,” Westphal said.