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The Aegis Sports

Knight sisters lead Patterson Mill softball past Fallston, 3-0, for region softball title

Patterson Mill senior pitcher Madison Knight and her freshman sister, Mackenzie, led the Huskies to a second straight region championship Wednesday. The Huskies beat a stubborn and visiting Fallston team, 3-0, for the Class 1A South Region I title.

The Huskies, now winners of 42 consecutive games dating back a couple of years, will host a state quarterfinal at 4 p.m. Friday against Chesapeake Math & IT Academy North of Laurel. The Huskies are seeking a second straight 1A state championship.

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Madison Knight shut the Cougars out on four hits and a walk, while striking out a dozen.

It was Knight, too, that put the Huskies on top in the first inning. Fallston pitcher Maddy Burns hit Savannah Reedy with a pitch with one out. Knight stepped in and like she’s done multiple times this year, she left the yard with her 10th home run of the season.

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“You’ve got to get in the box and take every pitch for what it’s worth. You get one pitch and that may be all you see,” Knight said. “I pushed it out, it hit the handle, but I pushed it, I pushed it out.”

The two runs were all Knight needed, but the Cougars battled until the end. The Huskies defense was nearly flawless behind her.

Burns drew a one-out walk in the second inning and stole second base, but Ren Cooper was called out for stepping on the plate while bunting and Knight struck out Aleisa Rowe to end the threat.

In the fourth, Allie Book’s ground ball to third was thrown away and Book was safe at second with one out. Knight, though, struck out Jillian Crawford and then got Burns to ground out to end the inning.

Patterson Mill, meanwhile, wasn’t having much success against Burns either. The Huskies had runners on base in the second and third innings, but Burns worked out of the jams.

In the fourth, Patterson Mill put its leadoff batter, Lily Hofmeister, on base by error, but the Cougars turned a 2-3 double play when Ella Laurentius popped up a bunt attempt.

In the fifth, it was Mackenzie Knight taking control. She bounced a leadoff single over the third baseman and then stole second and third on consecutive pitches.

“Stealing second, I saw no one was there, so I stole that and then going to third, no one was there either,” she said. “It was surprising to steal third on the next pitch. For them to think that I wouldn’t steal, I think that was a bit of surprise for them.”

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It was a passed ball seconds later that allowed Mackenzie Knight to slide into the plate uncontested with the important third run.

With a 3-0 lead, Madison Knight looked to close it out over the last two innings, but the Cougars didn’t make it easy.

Victoria Hudson led off the fifth with a sharp line drive down the first base line, but it was snagged on a nice play by Huskies first baseman Laurentius.

Camryn Barrett followed with a slow roller down third that went as the Cougars first hit. Barrett stole second and with two outs, moved to third as Book added a single, but Knight got Crawford to ground out to end the inning.

In the seventh, Knight struck out the first two batters, but Rowe and Abbie Eubank hit back-to-back singles to keep the Cougars alive. Knight, however, struck out the next batter to wrap up the win and region title.

“I think it’s pretty much a blessing, just being a freshman, coming this far and my sister pitching,” Mackenzie Knight said. “I say that’s a blessing for me.”

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Both Knights and Ali Kirsch finished 2-for-3 at the plate for the Huskies. Hofmeister had the other Patterson Mill hit.

Burns, a sophomore, scattered seven hits, hit one batter and she struck out eight.

“They are a solid team throughout and you have to game plan around Madison Knight,” Cougars coach Kevin Medicus said. “We’re probably the first team that’s ever played four outfielders against her. We needed to make her change her swing, give her different looks and I feel like we did that. Unfortunately, we didn’t hit our spot in the first inning and she took advantage of it like good players do and drove it over the fence. After that, feel like we went head-to-head, toe-to-toe with them and we come out of here feeling good about ourselves.”


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