The Spalding Cavaliers didn't waste any time yesterday securing their accustomed spot in today's Catholic League championship game.
Scoring three runs in the first, third and fourth innings and closing things out with two more in the fifth, the No. 2 Cavaliers coasted to an 11-0 semifinal win over Institute of Notre Dame at Randazzo Park.
The Cavaliers (16-3) will meet Mount de Sales -- a 4-1 winner over McDonogh in yesterday's other semifinal -- in search of their fifth straight Catholic League tournament championship and ninth overall. Game time is set for 4 p.m. at Towson University.
The Cavaliers won both meetings against the Sailers during the regular season, the last a 4-2 win on April 29 that went nine innings.
Amanda Stefanski provided the game-winning hit with a two-run single and pitcher Sabrina Ryals went all nine innings to get the win.
"After that game, [Mount de Sales coach] Pete [Waskiewicz] made the comment he wanted another chance at us. He'll get it," said Spalding coach Linda Taylor. "They always give us a great game, and I'm looking forward to seeing them tomorrow. It should be a good one. They have a solid lineup."
Taylor said she wasn't particularly pleased with the slow start her Cavaliers had in their 11-1 quarterfinal round win against Catholic on Friday.
The Cavaliers certainly didn't waste any time yesterday.
Stefanski singled, Ryals singled and catcher Beth Yourishin walked to load the bases with no outs in the bottom of the first. All three would come around to score with Tina Ryals (two singles, two RBIs) driving home the last of the three with a sharp single up the middle.
"We were pumped up and focused. It's important for us to go out and get a lead. Once we get a lead, we're pretty much unstoppable," said Sabrina Ryals, who finished with two hits, scored three runs, drove in another and got the win on the mound to be awarded the game ball.
The Indians (12-10) had a couple of chances early on to get back in the game, but couldn't come up with the key hit. With runners on first and third and two outs in the top of the second, Ryals struck out Ann Parker to end that threat.
They had two more on in the third with one out, but Yourishin came up with a big play from behind the plate, picking off Jamie Clingan from third. Ryals then got Beth Schleupner to pop out to center to end the inning.
The Cavalier offense then took over.
"We fell behind early, but didn't hang our heads and played hard until the final out," said Indians coach Greg Ehrman. "We lost our top two hitters from last year and were never really able to replace them, so scoring runs was sometimes tough. But as the season went on, we knocked off McDonogh and then beat Seton Keough in the playoffs. We're losing five seniors, but I have a good corps of freshmen and sophomores coming back."
Pub Date: 5/19/98