Liberty sophomore Lexi Trail's nerves were tested when she stepped into the pitcher's circle to face a Manchester Valley softball lineup that came into Friday's game averaging close to 12 runs per game.
But Trail limited the No. 7 Mavericks and got offensive support from Kasey Bost in a 1-0 victory that put the No. 5 Lions atop the Carroll County standings.
Liberty and Manchester Valley each came into the game with their share of accolades, with seven of the county's top 10 hitters and the statistical leader in every offensive and defensive category in Carroll. But with Trail and the Mavericks' Madison Grimm pitching, scoring was at a premium.
Bost's scamper around the bases in the first inning, on a triple and an error, proved huge for the Lions (10-1 overall, 7-0 county).
And Trail kept things that way with 11 strikeouts while scattering six singles.
Manchester Valley (8-1, 6-1) built a 14-game winning streak, dating to last season when it won the Class 1A state championship, before Friday's matchup. And the Mavericks had opportunities to tie the game and then some. But Trail — and Liberty's defense — snuffed out any rallies.
No. 2 Seton Keough 4, Mercy 2: Kelly Lynch struck out 17 and Sara Minnis (2-for-3) had a double and two RBIs to lead the host Gators (10-0, 7-0 IAAM A Conference) past the Magic (4-6, 3-5).
No. 10 Severna Park 9, No. 14 North County 6: Haley Simonds worked seven innings and struck out 14 as the Falcons (9-2) beat the host Knights (8-4).
Severna Park led 5-0 before North County scored five runs in the third inning to tie the score. The Falcons scored two runs each in the fourth and sixth innings to win.
No. 12 Chesapeake-AA 1, Broadneck 0: Brett Marsh (1-for-2) hit an RBI single in the second inning to lift the Cougars (8-2) over the host Bruins (4-4).
Winner Dustin Gosnell gave up six hits, walked one and struck out eight.
No. 1 Boys' Latin 19, No. 14 Severn 9: The high-scoring offense of the visiting Lakers (11-2, 3-1 Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference) proved to be too much for the host Admirals (6-4, 0-4).
Brendan Mullay had a game-high four goals to lead 10 Boys' Latin players in scoring. Logan Wisnauskas had two goals and four assists for the Lakers.
No. 2 McDonogh 9, No. 3 St. Mary's 6: The host Eagles (9-3, 3-1 MIAA AConference) fell behind 5-4 with 41/2 minutes left in the third before scoring the next four goals to win their sixth straight game.
Jackson Morrill had a hat trick and Robby Black had two goals and an assist for McDonogh, which led 3-2 at halftime. The Saints (5-5, 2-2) won 13 of 16 faceoffs..
No. 4 Loyola Blakefield 10, Archbishop Spalding 5: The host Dons (7-1, 4-0 MIAA A Conference) overcame a sluggish start by outscoring the Cavaliers (2-9, 1-3), 5-1, in the third quarter.
Loyola Blakefield took 18 shots in the first half and got three goals. The first-half offense ran through Alex Roesner, who had one goal and two assists as Loyola took a 3-2 lead at halftime.
With eight seconds left in the first half, the Dons won the faceoff and Ryan Conrad made a 30-yard pass to Roesner who finished at the buzzer. Roesner, a Penn-bound senior, finished with a game-high four goals, and Nick Goles had a hat trick.
Spalding failed to score on three extra-man opportunities in the third quarter. Zachary Kalas and Connor Wallenhorst each scored twice for the Cavaliers.
No. 6 St. Paul's 12, No. 5 Calvert Hall 8: The visiting Crusaders (10-4, 3-1 MIAA A Conference) took a 6-2 lead after the first quarter and controlled the tempo to beat the Cardinals (9-3, 2-2).
Most of the offense occurred in the first half, as St. Paul's led 9-4 at the break. Joe Pollard had four goals for the Crusaders, and Timmy Kelly had three goals for Calvert Hall.
Mount Saint Joseph 13, No. 9 Gilman 10: The host Greyhounds (2-7, 0-4 MIAA A Conference) lost their fourth straight league game.
Drew Harrison had two goals and two assists for the Gaels (8-5, 2-2).
No. 13 Broadneck 9, Severna Park 7: Riley McNulty had two goals and an assist and the host Bruins (8-3) won a come-from-behind victory over the Falcons (8-3).
Severna Park led 5-3 at halftime.
Patapsco 6, Dundalk 5, 5OT: Brad DePasquale made 21 saves, but the host Owls (2-5) fell to the Patriots (3-4).
St. Stephen's & St. Agnes 8, No. 4 Bryn Mawr 7, OT: Hadley Brown had a hat trick, but the visiting Mawrtians (6-5) fell to the Saints (13-0).
Catonsville 9, No. 15 Towson 7: The host Comets (7-3) won 14 of 17 draws and Lauren McDonald scored a team-high three goals as Catonsville upset the Generals (6-1).
Jenn Nonn took the draws in the first half when the Comets won all eight of them, but they trailed at halftime 4-3 because of a sterling effort by Towson goalie Haley Hicklen (17 saves) and three goals and an assist from Hope Lockwood. Anderson Gill put Catonsville ahead 6-5 off an assist from Andrea McTaggart with 17:30 left.
Baltimore Sun Media Group
Baltimore Sun staff contributed to this article.