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Carroll County Times
Carroll County High School Sports

No. 12 Century softball beats No. 6 Carver A&T, 8-3, to advance to Class 2A state semifinals

In the Class 2A state softball quarterfinals. Carver A&T had the home-field advantage. Century had the Killer Zs.

Advantage: Century.

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The battery of pitcher Hannah Zabik and Catcher Emma Zuckerman not only had a great day in the circle, but also contributed at the plate to lead the Knights to an 8-3 win. Both had multiple hits, including Zuckerman’s inside-the-park home run and a double for Zabik.

The win sends Century (16-6) to Tuesday’s Class 2A state semifinals, the deepest a Century softball team has ever advanced in the state tournament, where they will face Rising Sun at the Bachman Sports Complex in Glen Burnie on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

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The Knights wasted no time getting started Saturday, using some clutch hitting and fireworks at the plate to gain a five-run lead in the top of the first before an out was recorded.

The Knights began with three straight singles, the second of which by Aly Loschen scored Maddy Sitarek for a 1-0 lead. Zuckerman, the fourth batter in the inning, hit an inside-the-park home run which scored Loschen, Zabik and herself to give Century a 4-0 lead. The next batter, Caylee Clark, also hit an inside-the-park homer at the Carver field that did not have a fence. When the smoke cleared, Century found itself with a 5-0 lead.

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That was all Zabik needed. The senior, who will attend Averett University next season, was dominant, striking out 10 batters in the game. At one point from the end of the first through the first batter of the third, Zabik struck out five straight batters.

“I love having a hitting lineup like we do,” Zabik said. “They keep us going. It really helped me mentally when I could go out with a lead like that, especially as the away team.”

Carver (15-4) wasn’t ready to quit, though. The Wildcats, who had only lost this year to defending Class 4A state champion Catonsville — twice — and reigning 1A champion Patterson Mill entering the game, finally broke through in the fourth.

After a walk to Emily Hamp to begin the inning, Carver catcher Madalyn Golt doubled, pushing Hamp to third. A Mallory Cooper single scored Hamp. Two batters later, a Robyn Palmer ground out to first scored both Golt and Cooper to cut the lead to 7-3. That was as close as the Wildcats would get, though.

“We’re so excited to be in this position,” Century coach Kim Perdue said. “These girls have worked so hard for this. Century has always been known as a girls lacrosse school and a baseball school, and rightly so. We want to make sure that we’re known as a softball school, too.”

For Carver, the loss ends a breakout season for the Wildcats. Carver ace pitcher Cooper sprained her ankle, and was unavailable to pitch (though she did play first base). While disappointed, Manager Kevin Klimko realizes what a great year it was, and refused to blame the loss on not having Cooper.

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“Next to the first inning, we played a competitive ball game,” said Klimko. “Once we figured out her rise ball and laid off of it, the hits started coming. Take nothing away from Century, they have a great team. We have a young team. We have a few holes to fill, but next year we’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”


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