The last time Meg Cowen and Jessica Saunders faced Mount de Sales as members of the Archbishop Spalding softball team, Saunders sat on the bench with a back injury and Cowen bore the burden of a 1-0 loss that halted a 36-game winning streak for the Cavaliers.
What a difference five weeks can make.
Cowen went 3-for-4, scored twice, and drove in a run, while Saunders no-hit the No. 5-ranked and host Sailors to propel top-ranked Archbishop Spalding to a 5-2 victory yesterday at the Catonsville Senior Center.
When Mount de Sales upended the three-time reigning Independent Schools state champions on March 27, Cowen struck out 11 batters, but was still saddled with the loss.
Yesterday, her RBI single in the fourth inning proved to be the game-winning run as the Cavaliers extended their winning streak to 14 games and moved up to 17-1 overall and 14-1 in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland's A Conference.
"I felt like I redeemed myself with the bat," said Cowen, a junior third baseman who scored in the third and fourth innings. "We wanted to prove that we are the best team, and that [an upset] wasn't going to happen again."
The other barrel in Archbishop Spalding's holster was Saunders (9-0). The junior pitcher gave up two runs -- including one allowed by a sequence of three wild pitches -- but also struck out 10 and didn't allow a single hit.
"I pretty much knew the batters," said Saunders, who worked with the junior catching duo of Missy Gunther and Kristen Marll to complete the no-hitter. "Kristen and Missy did a great job calling the game. I just put it where I had to."
Saunders' counterpart, sophomore pitcher Jessica Taylor (6-3), labored through five innings of work, tossing 103 pitches and loading the bases with no outs in the fifth before she was relieved by junior Mary Ellen Morse.
Mount de Sales, which had sat atop The Sun's Top 15 poll for for the week beginning April 10, has dropped six of its past 11 contests.
"We can't hit the ball, and we're not executing the way we were in the beginning of the season," said coach Pete Waskiewicz, whose team fell to 11-7 overall and 10-6 in the conference. "But give some credit to [Archbishop Spalding coach] Linda [Taylor]. She gets her team up to No. 1 and keeps them there."