Counting on all its resources, the Severna Park softball team came away with two wins in two tries and the biggest trophy at Archbishop Spalding's eighth annual Cavalier Classic yesterday at Randazzo Park.
The No. 3 Falcons got a one-hit shutout from sophomore pitcher Kaila Jenkins to beat the host and No. 13 Cavaliers, 5-0, in their opener and then had to come from behind for a 4-2 victory over Mount de Sales to claim the tournament title.
Anne Arundel County rival Chesapeake, ranked No. 2, was the only other team to go 2-0 in the stacked 10-team field, but the Cougars had to settle for a satisfying second place, with the Falcons winning out by allowing fewer runs.
The tournament wasn't decided until the final out of the 10th and final game when the host Cavaliers upset No. 1 North County, 2-1. The loss dropped the Knights from potentially finishing first to fourth place, with tournament newcomer and No. 11 Fallston showing well to place third.
"This is our first win in the six years I've been here. And with the caliber of teams here, it's obviously a nice thing," Severna Park coach Jeff Shepherd said.
The tournament featured impressive pitching performances, strong hitting and a balanced field that kept the day interesting.
Along with Fallston and North County, finishing 1-1 were No. 6 Northeast, Spalding, Mount de Sales and Easton. No. 15 Glenelg went 0-2, as did Urbana of Frederick County.
"We wanted to be down here because this is so competitive, and the level of play will help get us to where we want to be," said Fallston coach Pam Gauss, whose Cougars lost, 1-0, to North County before posting a 6-0 win over Urbana. "I don't think anybody knew who Fallston was, so to take third and only give up one run is very exciting. This was quality softball."
Mount de Sales sophomore Lauren O'Malley enjoyed the finest day at the plate. After going 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and three runs in an 11-4, tournament-opening win over Urbana, and also getting the win on the mound, she helped put a scare in the eventual tournament champion Falcons with a long home run to right to give the Sailors a 2-0 lead in the third inning.
But the Falcons answered in the fifth, getting a two-run single from third baseman Kristin Wojtowycz to key a four-run rally. Jenkins took care of the rest on the mound for the Falcons, who improved to 7-0.
"I knew I had to get a hit, so I was just trying to see the ball, put it in play and make something good happen," Wojtowycz said.
Tournament suspense came early and late.
In the morning round of games, Chesapeake got a bases-loaded, two-run single from senior Brittany Owen in the bottom of the seventh for a 3-2 win over Easton. The Cougars then piled up 16 hits in their 10-2 win over Glenelg, with senior pitcher Kristie Hurman picking up both wins.
In the end, it was the host Cavaliers who had the final say with their upset win over North County mixing up the order up top. Freshman Nicole Reeder singled in the sixth to break a 1-1 tie and send the Cavaliers on their way.
Freshman pitcher Stephanie Weigman limited North County to four hits and finished with 11 strikeouts in the 2-1 win as the Cavaliers rebounded well after a 5-0 loss to Severna Park.
"I told them this was a big step for us. We've been in some tight games already without getting the wins, so to come out on top against the No. 1 ranked team is big for us," said Spalding coach Linda Taylor.