Archbishop Spalding's second-ranked softball team advanced to the Catholic League final behind Rachel Synowski, who pitched the Cavaliers to a 3-2 victory over Catholic yesterday.
Spalding (16-2) will face fifth-ranked IND for the Catholic League Championship today. Although Spalding coach Jim Nemeth would not give a prediction, he is confident of his team's chances.
"We've been playing some good ball lately," Nemeth said. "Our hitting has been a little erratic, but we're pitching well and playing good defense. If we keep that up, I think the hitting will take care of itself."
Catholic (9-5) didn't make it easy for Spalding. The Cavaliers led 2-0 going into the sixth inning, but the Cubs tied it. Tara Lafferty hit a one-out single to right.
Jen Monaldi hit a ball down the right-field line that got Lafferty to third. The throw from the outfield came in ahead of Lafferty but got by catcher Dana Fidazzo and Lafferty attempted to score. Fidazzo tried to throw Lafferty out at the plate, but her throw went high.
As this was going on, Monaldi was rounding the bases, and when she saw the ball thrown away, she was able to score and tie the score at 2.
The Cavaliers got their winning run in the sixth on three hits and a defensive interference call. Crystal Henderson started things with a one- out infield single and stole second.
Kelly Mabe followed with a single to center. Henderson was running at the crack of the bat but had to run around shortstop Monaldi and had to stop at third. After some discussion between Nemeth and the umpires, Henderson was awarded home for the go-ahead run.
Synowski put Catholic down in order in its half of the seventh for the win.
"We played very good defense today, and that was the key to the win," Synowski said. "I got a few strikeouts with my rising fastball, but I get my best results when I just let the other team hit the ball and let the defense do the work."
Synowski got a lot of grounders and struck out eight and walked one. Spalding's top performer on offense was Carrie Parsons, who had three hits and an RBI.
Tara Lafferty played well for the Cubs with two hits and a run.