Bel Air won the Class 3A North Region II softball championship Saturday morning, beating visiting Patapsco, 16-1, in four and a half innings.
The title was the second straight for the Bobcats, having won in 2019. Two players who led Saturday’s win weren’t even in high school in the Spring of 2019.
Kyrsten Coppage, the Bobcats sophomore pitcher, tossed a no-hitter, striking out 11. Whatever Coppage was throwing, the Patriots basically couldn’t catch up to it. “My curve ball worked so well, he wasn’t really calling anything outside or inside, so I really had to use my curve ball to get it across the plate,” Coppage said.
Coppage struck out the side in the first and third innings.
Makayla Lopez, also a sophomore, had three hits, including a first inning, two-run, inside-the-park home run. “I went up and I just thought, we need runs,” Lopez said. “There were people on, so I’m just going to take the pitch wherever it’s pitched and it was pitched outside and I took it to right field.”
Lopez found the gap in right-center and the ball rolled to the fence, scoring Caroline Hilyard (walk) in front of her.
Lopez, who finished with four RBIs, wasn’t the only batter to drive in runs. The Bobcats scored six times in the second inning and eight times in the third.
Ava Vecchioni added two hits and five RBIs and Lanie LeVee was 2-2 with two RBIs. Coppage added two hits and three RBIs, while Hilyard and Jaydn Better (three walks, one single) both had an RBI.
“It was fun, I got a lot of new friends, we all get along and it was just fun getting together and playing softball and just having fun,” Lopez said reference the region championship. “We just went in here thinking, OK, now we just got to get this done, so we can continue on.”
Coppage said, “It was really, really fun to play with everybody, we’re missing our seniors today and I know if they were here, they would really enjoy it.”
The Patriots (7-4) scored a lone run in the fourth inning. Alexis Luster walked twice and scored the lone run when Coppage tried to pick her off second and made a throwing error.
“It’s a great feeling, the expectation here is a regional championship, anything beyond that is a bonus, so this was the expectation and we stood up to it,” Bobcats head coach Nicole Cosgrove said. “We’re even missing some of our seniors, which is great.”
The Bobcats (15-4) will play next week in a state quarterfinal. Date, time and site to be determined.
“We have a chance to host, we’ll see what comes down. That will be great to host a state quarterfinal game and we’ll be back to, hopefully, full strength by then,” Cosgrove said. “We’ll see how it goes.”