Before Eastern Tech defeated Lansdowne 7-5 in the 2016 Baltimore County championship game on Tuesday afternoon, nobody had to remind the Eastern Tech softball players what happened the last time the Mavericks played Lansdowne in a postseason game.

It happened nearly a year ago on May 15 in the Class 2A North Region championship game when the Vikings won 5-3 and ended the Mavericks' unbeaten season.

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That defeat also halted Eastern Tech's undefeated streak at 43 games, dating back to 2013 when they lost to Northern, Calvert County, in the state championship game.

Eastern Tech (16-1), which won the state title in 2014, led from start to finish against the Vikings (14-3) and won its sixth straight Baltimore County championship in a game played at the Community College of Baltimore County, Dundalk.

Senior third baseman Sara Ciekot led the Mavericks' offense with three hits and two runs scored and used last year's playoff loss as motivation.

"It was a big letdown," said Ciekot, who belted a 2-run triple to right center in her first at bat. "After the big letdown last year we really came out and had to pick up where we left off."

The Mavericks put the pressure on early with four runs in the bottom of the first.

Sarah Cox was plunked by a pitch and advanced to second on Brooke Retkowski's walk.

Sarah Heagy reached on an error to load the bases and Allison Meyers plated Cox with the first run on a sacrifice fly that preceded Ciekot's triple. Ciekot scored the fourth run on a wild pitch.

"We just really like to come out intense and we always say, 'Attack first and get up on them so we have a little bit of breathing room so we can all relax,'" Ciekot said.

Lansdowne pitcher Jordyn Goodman fanned the final two hitters of the first inning and the first one in a scoreless second inning, but the Mavericks expanded the lead to 6-0 in the third.

Ciekot was right in the middle of the rally with at one-out double to right center field again.

Heagy, who led off with a single, and Ciekot both scored on Casey Turner's 2-run single to right field.

Ciekot, who notched her third hit on a liner to right center field in the fifth inning, doesn't usually go to the opposite field.

"She's usually a pull hitter, so she's worked very, very hard the past two or three weeks on it and it finally paid off," Eastern Tech coach Jack Meyers said.

She felt more comfortable going to right field against the southpaw.

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"My coach has always told me this year 'Go with the pitch, go with the pitch, go with the pitch,' so everybody said go with the pitch because she is left-handed," Ciekot said.

Lansdowne finally got on the board against sophomore hurler Jodie Bronushas (7 innings pitched, 9 hits, 5 strikeouts) in the top of the fifth inning.

Freshman Tatum Barrass (3-for-4) stroked a one-out double and advanced to third on a missed cutoff.

She scored on an infield tapper by Emily Wilkens (2-for-3).

The Mavericks got the run back in the bottom of the fifth inning and led 7-1 when Meyers belted a solo home run 10 feet to the right of the 198-feet sign in left field.

Goodman retired six of the final eight batters in the next two innings, with the final two coming on strikeouts six and seven.

She yielded nine hits and walked one, but wasn't helped by four Lansdowne errors.

"Even one error against a good team you are going to be in a losing column," said Lansdowne senior catcher Hannah Goodman, Jordyn's older sister. "It's hard to make four errors against a team like this and still think you are going to win."

"Errors killed us and mistakes killed us," said Lansdowne coach Ken Goodman, father of the battery mates.

But, the Vikings refused to quit and rallied in the top of the seventh with four runs.

A leadoff walk by Trinity Piller started the inning and she advanced to third on singles by Barrass and Wilkens (2-for-3).

Hannah Goodman (3-for-4) plated two runs with a ground double down the third base line and Wilkens scored on a sacrifice fly by Jordyn Goodman to make it 7-4.

After Bri Elser grounded out, Morgan Thayer reached on an error that scored the fifth run, but Bronushas fanned Jessie Trott on a high fastball to end the game.

"We never gave up and we put pressure on them," coach Goodman said. "That's the way you've got to play Eastern Tech. You've got to hang with them."

Eastern Tech coach Meyers knew his team needed to start fast against the Vikings.

"Those Goodman kids are very passionate kids and they get that team fired up over there, so we wanted to kind of match that kind of passion and energy and it worked," Meyers said. "It was an exciting game towards the end."

Eastern Tech's only loss this season was a 4-3 defeat against C. Milton Wright on May 7 and that ended a 15-game winning streak.

The Mavericks are the top seed in Section I of the Class 2A North Region and will play at home in the second round of the playoffs on Monday, May, 16 at 4 p.m.

Lansdowne, whose only regular-season losses came against Eastern Tech, 10-0, and Franklin, 7-3, opens play as the second-seeded team in Section I of the Class 3A North Region on Thursday, May 1 at home against Woodlawn at 4 p.m.

Although the Mavericks won't get to avenge last year's regional playoff loss to Lansdowne because they are in different classifications, coach Meyers enjoyed seeing them in a postseason setting.

"We love to face emotional kids like that so they can challenge our kids so we can find out what we need to work on," he said.

Boxscore

Lansdowne 0-0-0-0-1-0-4—5

Eastern Tech 4-0-2-0-1-0-X—7

WP Jodie Bronushas

LP Jordyn Goodman

2B ET-Sara Ciekot; Lans-Tatum Barrass, Hannah Goodman

3B ET Sara Ciekot

HR ET Allison Meyers

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