Northeast softball’s promising season ends with 12-1 loss to defending champion Calvert in 2A state semifinal

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Northeast softball lines up before the game. Northeast lost 12-1 to Calvert in the Class 2A state semifinal on Tuesday, May 23, 2023.

An All-County worthy defense failed to make an appearance. Runs that could’ve been were left stranded time and time again. Disaster in the top of the seventh fully unwound the game in Calvert’s favor.

All of those reasons contributed to Northeast softball’s expected but still incredible playoff run falling a win short of the championship game. Calvert, the reigning Class 2A champion and a team the Eagles had pegged from the very start as a threat, made absolutely sure of it with a 12-1 victory. The Cavaliers buried the Eagles with 10 runs in the top of the seventh against two pitchers.


Northeast coach Joe Hart does understand what went wrong in the end.

“This is a young team,” Hart said. “[Calvert] a team of seven seniors. We went tooth-and-nail with them for six innings, and [we] got rattled. The wheels came off, and that’s something we’ll work on.”


However, there is a “but” Hart could not help but dwell on even after the Cavaliers’ demolition of the seventh: a call at home plate in the fourth that Hart feels changed the spirit of the game for his Eagles in a bitter way.

In the top of the fourth, Calvert’s Emily Milam raced home on a wild pitch. Northeast catcher Taylor Castle hustled to the backstop and snapped a pass back to pitcher Presley McGinty, who tagged Milam just as she reached home plate. She was called safe. The run occurred shortly after a Cavalier was tagged out by Castle at home, resulting in the Eagles catcher being banged up in the collision.

Despite arguments from the Northeast staff, the score became 2-0. The Eagles went on to score a run in the fifth.

“It’s a 1-0 game otherwise. Then, we tie the game and have a little momentum,” Hart said. “But you got an umpire that tells you she’s under the tag. How do you get under a tag when the glove is laying on the base?”

While Hart’s heart breaks for his seniors, he looks ahead to the future, a team flush with underclassmen who now have a very helpful experience of reaching the state tournament and a hunger to do better.

The Eagles did contribute to their own demise, stranding eight baserunners. If Northeast scored the runners it abandoned on third base alone, it would’ve led 4-2 by the seventh.

The bright spot, a glimpse of all Northeast had been this spring, happened twice.

Caitlyn Cornwell (2-for-3), a Maryland commit who set the school’s single-season stolen base record this season, tripled off the first pitch she took in the bottom of the fifth. Her second-to-last offensive act as an Eagle would follow, with McGinty sending her running home on a fielder’s choice for Northeast’s only run.


Then in the bottom of the seventh, after hope was really lost, sophomore Natalee Brown kept fighting. She singled to center field and ultimately reached third after freshman Madison Burris singled to right.

“We’ll be alright,” Hart said.

Hart gave full respect to umpires and acknowledged the shortage of officials statewide, but noted the loss and the close call are tough to take.

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“But I’m proud of [my team], and it’s OK. We’ll learn from it,” Hart said. “But it’s a shame. It’s tough for my seniors, Caitlyn and Riley [Walters]. They had a shot.”

While the call that went against Northeast was a judgment decision, other Anne Arundel programs have been victimized by rules interpretations recently.

Last week, county champion Crofton played Stephen Decatur into extra innings in the 3A South Region II final.


In the bottom of the ninth, there was a clerical mixup regarding a Decatur pinch runner and where she should be placed because of the mistake: third base or second. Crofton coach Sarah Bible and the Cardinals argued the rules defined the runner be placed on second, but were overruled by officials. That runner scored the winning run on a bunt single in the Seahawks’ 4-3 win.

Bible confirmed to The Capital last week she filed a grievance letter with the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.

In last year’s 4A state semifinals, in an extra-inning marathon between Severna Park and South River, the Seahawks lost both their international tiebreaker rule base runner and an out when Falcons coach Meredith McAlister rightfully pointed out that South River had placed the wrong runner on base. However, though it was incorrect, Seahawks coach Tim Williams had confirmed his choice with an official. Severna Park went on to win.