In a match-up of undefeated powerhouse Baltimore County programs on Wednesday afternoon, Dulaney issued an emphatic early-season statement.
The visiting Lions scored eight times in the top of the first inning and never slowed down, routing Lansdowne 21-1 to improve to 5-0 for the first time since 2009. Akirra Pullen was dominant as both a hitter (5-5, 2 home runs and 7 RBI) and as a pitcher (four hits allowed) to lead the way in the victory.
“Coming into this game we were really shaky. We didn’t know what was going on because they were undefeated like we were,” Pullen said. “So we had [to be] head strong and just try to be us, do what we do — win.”
Dulaney ended up scoring at least once in every inning, capitalizing on 19 hits spread between eight different players to go along with eight errors committed by Lansdowne (3-1). Lions coach David Barwick said that his team’s tough early schedule, which included one-run victories over Catonsville and Sparrows Point, had his players ready to go.
“It really was a great opportunity to make a statement and having already played several top teams, including Catonsville, Sparrows Point and Westminster, I felt like we were battle-tested,” Barwick said. “Conversly, [Lansdowne] had played some weaker teams, and I think that worked against them. That said, all the credit to our girls, especially for the way they were able to hit against Jordyn [Goodman], who gave us trouble last year.”
In the top of the first, Dulaney took advantage of two misplayed bunts and a throwing error on a ball hit to third to get a rally going. From there, Pullen delivered her first RBI hit of the day and then Hope Eckhart (4-5) followed with a home run over the fence in right field to quickly make it 5-0.
By the end of that initial inning the Lions had sent 12 batters to the plate and, thanks to a double from Alleshia Pullen (2-5, 4 runs scored) and a triple from Allison Dasch (3-5), were able to push the lead to 8-0 before Lansdowne even got a turn at the plate.
“We just weren’t ready to play today, particularly defensively. It’s just one of those days and everyone has one during the course of a season,” Lansdowne coach Ken Goodman said. “It was a snowball going down hill and we just couldn’t stop it.”
In the bottom of the first, Lansdowne looked poised to do some damage of its own as the first three batters reached base to create bases loaded with no outs. But Dulaney got a ground ball to force a runner out at home and then Akirra Pullen snagged a line drive back at her to start a double play and escape the inning unscathed.
The Lions kept the momentum going from there, adding another run in the second on a RBI hit from Jenna Isaacson and then four more in the third highlighted by a two-run home run from Akirra Pullen to right field.
Akirra Pullen ended up just a double shy of the cycle, hitting the ball hard each time up at the plate. Her three-run home run in the top of the fifth to put the icing on the victory cleared the left-field fence by more than 20 feet.
“I know Jordyn Goodman and she’s a great pitcher. She’s very good, very fast. But I just knew her, I knew her pitches and how to catch up to her speed,” Pullen said.
Other strong days for the Lions at the plate came from Sam Beeler, who delivered a 2-RBI double as part of a five-run fourth inning, and Sara Comaromi (2-5, 4 runs scored).
Barwick said he’s extremely pleased with where the team is at this point.
“We’re now through some of our toughest teams and we should be able to cruise now for a few games before our next big challenge against Eastern Tech, who we lost against in the 10th or 11th inning last year. So I think we are well on our way,” Barwick said. “At this point, I don’t see anything stopping us from going to the county championship if we stay on this path.”
On the other side, Lansdowne got its hits from Jazmine Schouster, Tatum Barrass, Bri Eiser and Morgan Thayer. Thayer, who doubled in the fourth inning, was responsible for scoring the team’s lone run.
While disappointed in the loss, Vikings’ coach Ken Goodman said it might be just the wake-up call his group needs at this early stage of the season.
“To tell you the truth, we needed this. They needed to get beat like that, because we were 3-0 and nobody had scored against us all season and you get a certain sense of invincibility,” he said. “Now they know what can happen if we don’t come ready to play. But, it’s just one game and there’s a lot of season left.”
Dulaney 21, Lansdowne 1
123 45 R-H-E
D 814 53 21-19-2
L 000 10 1-4-8
2B – D: Eckhart 2, Alleshia Pullen, Beeler, Comaromi; L – Thayer.
3B – D: Akirra Pullen, Alleshia Pullen.
HR – D: Akirra Pullen 2, Eckhart.