That’s how many the McDonogh softball team scored in just five innings in a shutout victory over Mount de Sales on Tuesday in Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference play.
Senior infielder Emma Lach went 2-for-3 with two home runs — including a grand slam — five RBIs, two walks and four runs scored to power the 18-0 breakout performance.
Lach was named to the 2019 All-Metro softball team after batting .645 with 40 hits, 29 runs, 21 RBIs and three home runs. Her goal has been to make up for last year’s lost season because of the pandemic and boost her undefeated McDonogh team (5-0) to its highest level.
“I felt really relaxed at the plate and I knew it was going to be a good day because I was singing the song that we played between innings,” Lach said. “I was nice and relaxed and that’s when I hit good, when I’m not tense or thinking about other things. Mount de Sales is usually very good competition and it’s a very close game, but today we all came out swinging good. The score was very nice for us.”
McDonogh junior pitcher Andrea Ottomano began the season with 33 strikeouts in three games. On Tuesday, she added nine more.
Ottomano allowed one hit and another runner reached on an error. For the most part, her team’s defense was impeccable, making swift plays behind her in the infield.
“I definitely feel very confident with everybody that’s behind me,” Ottomano said. “I was watching Mount de Sales warm up and I was like, ‘I am so glad that we have the defense that we have,’ because even when I’m not striking people out, I know that people are going to make the plays all around.”
The Eagles scored most of their runs in the first inning. Lach walked in her first at-bat and stole a base. Harper Allee-Press walked, then Ottomano drove in a run. Abby Nevin singled in another run and Maycie Blair singled to drive in one more. Sophia Martinez drove in a run on a single, MacKenzi Preston walked and Caelah Cross reached base on a fielder’s choice.
Lach came up to bat again and cleared the bases with a grand slam. The runs continued until the score sat at 12-0.
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But Lach wasn’t done yet. She hit another home run in her third at-bat in the second inning to give the Eagles a 13-0 lead. Nevin scored on Martinez’s single and Blair reached home on a wild pitch for a 15-0 lead after three innings. Lach, Allee-Press and Ottomano scored in the fourth inning for the 18-0 lead.
Eagles coach John Folfas has seen his team play several games with wildly different outcomes this season. McDonogh led off the year with a 13-1 victory over Catholic, followed by a 12-2 win against Mount Carmel and hard-fought wins over John Carroll (5-2) and Spalding (6-5). It’s just evidence of the multitude of ways his team can get the job done.
“We know that John Carroll, Archbishop Spalding and Mount de Sales all have good pitching and it’s important for us to get out ahead because we only play so few games that we win them early,” Folfas said. “Then, when we get later into the playoffs, we can make adjustments to our game that didn’t work in early games. Getting out early in the seasons and getting ahead and getting out to 5-0 in important for their psyche.”