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High School sports

Catholic softball freshmen Ally McBride and Ava Simpson deliver 13-3 victory over St. Paul’s

Ava Simpson, left, and Ally McBride, right, led the charge in Catholic's 13-3 victory over St. Paul's on Thursday.

Ally McBride is Catholic’s workhorse on the mound. Thursday’s game was no different, with the freshman pitcher striking out 10 batters in a 13-3 victory over St. Paul’s.

McBride pitched a complete game, allowing three earned runs on three hits. Not only was she consistent on the mound, but she was steady at the plate. She broke up a scoreless tie in fourth inning, hitting an inside-the-park home run to give Catholic a 1-0 lead. She also drove in Kaylah Morosko on a double to extend the lead to 10-3 in the sixth inning, finishing 2-for-3.

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“It was great because we struggled in the beginning,” McBride said. “Pitchers on both ends pitched well, but we had a rough start — a lot of three ups, three downs. Once we finally got it and the hit happened, I felt like I really started it for the team and it was a great feeling that we could finally get things going. I knew that we were feeling good today and it was going to be a good outcome.”

Her teammate and fellow freshman Ava Simpson had a strong day at the plate herself. She began the day with a single in the second inning, hit a two-run single in the fourth, walked in the fifth and doubled in the sixth to drive in two more runs. She also scored three runs and stole a base. It was the moment she’s been waiting for in her young career.

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“It was really nerve-wracking because this is my first year playing in high school,” Simpson said. “I was really nervous at first, but once I got the hang of it, it really puts everyone in a good mood and it starts with a rally. So, I was really surprised with myself and I was very grateful for all of my coaches who helped me through this. It was a good game today.”

Derrick Adams has been proud of his Catholic team. They’ve battled Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference foes McDonogh and Archbishop Spalding. Then, they narrowly defeated Mercy, 6-4, and beat Annapolis Area Christian, 13-3. He credits the team’s “resilience and character” for its success this season.

“The girls have got a lot of character, we believe in each other, they believe in the process and they stick to it,” Adams said. “Everybody is believing in everybody. We’re picking each other up. Even when a girl makes a mistake, we don’t stay down and we keep plugging away at it.”

Catholic broke the deadlock in the fourth inning with McBride’s inside-the-park home run off St. Paul’s pitcher Tildy Norris. Sara Green followed with a single, and Johanna Roche walked. Cristen Roche drew a walk against St. Paul’s reliever Kathe Hobbs, and Simpson singled to score Green and Johanna Roche.

Catherine Stock bunted and reached on an error to score Cristen Roche. Morosko reached on an error with Simpson and Stock scoring for a 6-0 lead. St. Paul’s answered when Abby Leitch reached on an error and scored on a triple by Megan Gajewski to make it 6-1 going into the fifth inning.

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Green doubled, Simpson walked and stole a base and Emily Bonnett drove them both in with a single to put Catholic ahead 8-1 in the fifth. St. Paul’s inched closer with Grace Black getting hit by a pitch on the wrist and stealing both second and third. Holly Gallagher drew a walk, and Black came around to score on a hit by Dylan Delaney. Norris dropped down a sacrifice bunt to score Gallagher to cut the deficit to 8-3.

Catholic padded its lead in the sixth with Morosko singling and McBride doubling to drive her in. After Green singled to score McBride, Johanna Roche was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Simpson drove them both in with a double to make it 13-3.

St. Paul’s battled through injuries throughout the game. Hobbs was injured on a collision with her own catcher, and Black was hit by a pitch but stayed in the game. St. Paul’s coach Vance Hobbs knows his team will bounce back.

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“It was a 0-0 game after the third inning,” Vance Hobbs said. “We were right there and it started being a game of attrition. I’m very happy with our young team. We’ve only got a couple of seniors and I know we’ll be strong going forward.”

Box score

Runs...Hits...Errors

CH 13...12...2

StP 3...3...3


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