When Archbishop Spalding pitcher Crystal Ray last faced the Institute of Notre Dame, the Indians rallied from a three-run deficit to break a Cavaliers' winning streak that had lasted for over a year.
Last night at Patterson Park's Utz Twardowicz Field, Ray and Spalding more than evened the score.
The sophomore pitched a six-inning no-hitter, striking out eight and going 3-for-5 at the plate as the sixth-ranked Cavaliers redeemed themselves with a 16-1 drubbing of No. 5 IND.
The victory propelled Spalding (13-2 overall, 6-2 in the league) into a share of first place with the Indians (9-4, 7-2) in the Catholic League.
With two games left in the regular season, the win was a big one for the victorious players, especially Ray.
"We just wanted to go out and do what we knew we could do -- play as a team," said Ray. "It feels great."
Spalding battered IND starter Amy Cipolloni for 17 hits, reaching base six straight times in an eight-run sixth.
"The last two practices we focused on hitting and getting the bunt down," said Spalding coach Linda Taylor. "I didn't have to worry about them getting up for this one. They wanted it, and they wanted it bad."
The Cavaliers broke on top in its first at-bat. Crystal Henderson walked to lead off the game, stole second and scored when Indians first baseman Shannon Skopp dropped a routine throw to first after Kathleen O'Hara's bunt back to the pitcher.
The Cavaliers then loaded the bases later in the inning, and extended their lead to 4-0 when Zenet Marfani doubled over the head of left fielder Kelly Pryce, and took third on the throw home. She scored two batters later when Julie Janyska reached on the second error of the inning, making it 5-0.
But IND mounted a rally of its own in the bottom half of the first.
Jen Trotta drew a leadoff walk, and scored one batter later on Nicki Trumpler's errant throw to third after Robin Johnson's bunt, cutting the lead to 5-1.
But that would be as close as IND would get.
Spalding extended its lead to 6-1 in the fourth when O'Hara's single up the middle scored Henderson and made it 8-1 in the fifth on an RBI single by Yourshin and single by Jacqui King followed by an error by center fielder Jamie City.
In the fifth, the Cavaliers put up eight runs to go up 16-1, and the game was stopped after the inning due to the 10-run mercy rule.