Mount de Sales senior Suzanne Smith wasn't thinking about the Sailors' 0-17 record of three years ago when she smacked a leadoff double in the first inning against McDonogh in yesterday's Catholic League Tournament semifinal.
But she was certainly reflecting on it after the host Sailors defeated the 10th-ranked Eagles, 4-1, on a two-hitter by Christy Urban to advance to the championship game for the first time in school history.
No. 5 Mount de Sales (15-4) will meet No. 2 Archbishop Spalding, an 11-0 winner over the Institute of Notre Dame yesterday, in the title game at 4 p.m. today at Towson University.
Smith -- who along with catcher Brooke LaMartina are the only players remaining from the 1995 team -- went 2-for-3 and stole two bases and Julie Bahr was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
"I remember when we came, [coach Pete Waskiewicz] said in four years we would be in the championship, and of course I didn't believe him at the time," Smith said. "I don't think we realized how far we could actually go and I think now it's finally hit us and all the hard work that we've put into it has paid off."
The Sailors, who have gone 44-17 since the winless season, took an aggressive approach against McDonogh ace Leah Clelland, swinging early in the count and stealing five bases.
Mount de Sales took a 1-0 lead in the first on Kerry Poisal's single that scored Smith, who had doubled and stolen third. Poisal then stole second and eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0.
Clelland settled down after that, however, retiring the side in order in the second and third innings and working her way unscathed out of a bases-loaded predicament in the fourth.
Urban, meanwhile, was taking a no-hitter into the fifth. She finished with just one strikeout and McDonogh scorched several line drives, but they were hit right to people.
Urban's fielders played flawlessly behind her, especially center fielder Kerry Poisal, shortstop Bahr and third baseman Stephanie Waskiewicz, who all successfully handled several tough chances.
"I got behind on some of the batters because I was trying to tease them with the outside pitch to see if they'd go fishing for it," said Urban, who walked three. "They got a few good hits but my fielders got everything that was hit to them."
The Eagles (14-6) finally broke through in the fifth when Stacy Green's two-out double broke up the no-hitter and scored Mary Urban, who had walked, to make it 2-1.
Mount de Sales, however, responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning on RBI singles by Christy Urban and Bahr. That rally also was started by Smith, who singled with one out and stole second.
"I thought we had a chance when it was 2-1, but those two little bloop hits [by Smith and Urban] really helped them a whole lot," McDonogh coach Mickey Deegan said. "We hit the ball hard, but their hits fell in and ours didn't."
Pub Date: 5/19/98