Archbishop Spalding began the season as one of the favorites to win the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference softball title because of a mix of talented returning players and a solid crop of newcomers.
The third-ranked Cavaliers solidified their position atop the league standings yesterday with a 6-2 victory over visiting No. 7 Mount de Sales (9-7, 6-4), which entered the game in second place.
Pitcher Elaine Nescio put on another dominating performance by allowing two runs on three hits with nine strikeouts in a complete game.
"Being on top, everyone is out to get you, so you can't let down your guard at all," said Nescio, who improved to 8-1. "Every game we enjoy the win, but we're back to focusing on our next game that same night. We focus on what we have to do to keep on top."
Spalding (10-1, 9-0) scored one run in each of the first three innings on a double by Delaney Bell, a single by Casey O'Neill and a throwing error by Mount de Sales, respectively.
Institute of Notre Dame 5, Mercy 4 -- Brianna Jones hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh to lead the Indians (7-9) past the Magic. Jones went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs.
No. 6 St. Mary's 11, No. 8 St. Paul's 8 -- The Saints (12-3) used a balanced attack to pull away from the visiting Crusaders.
No. 11 Archbishop Spalding 9, Mount St. Joseph 8, OT -- Andrew Scalley scored with a minute left in overtime to lift the visiting Cavaliers (7-4) to a win.
Annapolis 10, South River 9 -- The Panthers' Jake Wilhelm got a loose ball in front of the South River goal and fed Nate Poerstel for the game-winner with one second left.
Catonsville 13, Hereford 12 -- Matt Reymann scored with 2:40 left in the game to break a tie at 12 as the Comets (7-3) defeated the visiting Bulls.
Sun reporters contributed to this article.