Chaos softball squad enjoyed sizzling summer season

When Pat Brady played Division III college baseball at North Carolina Wesleyan he learned from coach Gary Kendall, who is now the head coach for the Baltimore Orioles Double-A Bowie Baysox, to have fun on the diamond.

As the coach of the Catonsville Chaos 16-and-under travel softball team, Brady passed that message along to his team and they bought into it.

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"I learned from him [Kendall] at every level, you've still got to have fun and I think they have fun," Brady said.

This year's team had more joy because they had a highly-successful summer tournament season that concluded with a championship in the USSSA Mid-Summer Challenge held at North Laurel Park July 15-16.

After going 1-1 in pool play on the first day of the tournament, the Chaos went 3-0 on the second day and won the championship game, 9-8.

Felicity Voss was the starting pitcher against the Parkville Pride and she was staked to a 4-0 lead in the first inning.

She was relieved by Emily Ripley in the last inning with the Chaos leading, 9-6.

After two runs scored with two outs, making the score 9-8, Ripley struck out the final batter after falling behind 3-0 in the count.

It was the third time during the season the Chaos was in the championship game and the first time they came out on top.

In addition to the two second-place finishes, the Chaos also came in third three times and finished the summer season with a 21-7 record in 16U tournaments.

Brady enjoyed coaching the team so much he plans to play them in some future tournaments.

"We are are going to play some fall ball this year," Brady said. "We normally don't."

His close-knit group has meshed because they are familiar with each other and the program.

"The key to this team is that most of these girls have been playing together for five or six years now," said Brady, who has coached Catonsville recreation or travel softball for 17 years. "We haven't had a lot of turnover and they all came from the Catonsville recreation program."

Of the 12 players on the roster, 11 played varsity or junior varsity softball at Catonsville High and Ripley played on the varsity as a sophomore at Mount de Sales.

Voss, Karley DiDomenico (LF/3B), Brooke Mariner (SS), Rachel Phillips (C), Donya' Truesdale (RF) and Rayner Reinhardt (3B) all started the season for coach Steve McCleary on Catonsville High's varsity squad.

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Caroline Brady (P/DH), the coach's daughter, Charlotte Schaech (CF) and Katrina Bucher (C/1B) were promoted to the varsity from JV at the end of the season.

Katherine Anderson (2B/OF) and Morgan Waltz (2B) played on the Comets' JV squad.

"We were a really good hitting squad," said Brady, who was assisted by coaches Greg Ehrman and Greg Anderson. "The key to success is keeping these kids together and I'm loyal to the Catonsville kids."

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