When Erin Horsey was thrown out at second with no outs in the sixth inning in a scoreless Class 1A state softball title match Friday, it appeared a golden opportunity eluded Bohemia Manor High. But the Eagles knew it would be only a matter of time, and, finally, they’re champions.
Fourth-ranked Bohemia Manor defeated Allegany, 5-0, at the University of Maryland. South Carroll’s first state final appearance ended in heartbreak with an 8-1 loss to North Caroline.
Bree Bishop struck out nine and Kendall Dixon’s first inning solo shot set the tone for North Caroline, which capped a perfect season (24-0) and first state championship since 2005. Katelyn Davis had a single and scored the only run for South Carroll (18-6), making its first state final appearance.
“I told them out there ‘look at what you accomplished,'” said South Carroll coach Matt Cannistraci. “We just went on a nine-game winning streak. At the beginning [of playoffs], I told them someone’s got to win six in a row, why can it be us.”
North Caroline, which defeated No. 1 Eastern Tech in its last at-bat, needed only two batters Friday to gain control. With two outs in the top of the first, Dixon took Cavalier junior Chloe Sharman’s 0-1 pitch over the left field fence.
South Carroll got its first two batters on in the bottom half, but Bishop, who hit leadoff hitter Sydney Ruckel and allowed a single to Sydney Carroll, struck out the side. Bishop didn’t allowed another Cavalier leadoff batter to reach base until the seventh.
North Caroline got a two-run double from Megan Robbins in the fourth for a 3-0 advantage. The Caroline County school put the match out of reach as Bishop highlighted a four-run seventh with a two-run double.
The Cavaliers avoided the shutout as Carroll’s grounder was mishandled, allowing pinch runner Al Lomax to score. Sam Amateau, Marlee Carroll and Ruckel each singled.
The Eldersburg school won its first Carroll County league crown in 35 seasons. The Cavaliers knocked off Southern Tuesday at Bachman Park for its first state final berth.
“From the very beginning we talked about coming to states and holding up a piece of wood. We did, unfortunately, it said state finalists not state champions,” said Cannistraci. “This group made history. They’ve set a legacy hopefully South Carroll softball will keep.”
CLASS 1A STATE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONS
BOHEMIA MANOR EAGLES
The wait is over for Bohemia Manor (21-2), which broke open another tight match late, capturing its first state crown since 1995. Anna Tidaback’s double and Maddie Penta’s pitching helped penned history for the Cecil County school.
“Coming into this, we were more than prepared,” said Eagles senior third basemen Taylor Abshagen. “We’ve had a great playoff run. We finally got past Perryville and came out here and played softball like we know how to play.”
Penta capped an amazing freshman campaign, striking out 18 and allowed only three hits. She didn’t allowed a run in the postseason and struck out 80.
Friday, Penta was matched by Allegany (21-3) hurler Shanel Stott, who didn’t allow a hit until the sixth. Erin Horsey reached on an error to start the sixth, but got stuck between first and second on a steal attempt, and was tagged out trying to get back to first.
Zoe Lockwood got Bohemia Manor’s first hit, a bloop single, with two outs. Tidaback, a junior produced the biggest hit for Bohemia Manor in nearly three decades, taking Stott’s 1-1 pitch off the top of the right centerfield fence, bringing in Lockwood.
“I was struggling at the first at-bat and she struck me out,” said Tidaback, who flew out to center in her second look at Stott. “I just kept my head, trusted my hands and do what I knew how to do.”
Bohemia Manor coach Russ Morgan said having Horsey attempt to steal second with no outs was “an aggressive baserunning move.” The Eagles had only two baserunners through five innings.
“You know you have other sticks coming up,” said Morgan, whose team came around in the latter innings against Mardela in Tuesday’s semifinal at Bachman Park.
Abshagen doubled off the wall in the center, scoring Tidaback, and Melinda Morgan brought in courtesy runner Reagan Goldsmith for a 3-0 advantage. Freshman Carlee Ferguson’s two-run blast in the seventh was the exclamination point for Bohemia Manor, which lost to eventual state champ Perryville in the East Region semifinal last spring.
The Eagles ended their UCBAC rivals’ run as state champs with a victory in last week’s East semifinals. In the regular season, Bohemia Manor won the UCBAC Chesapeake Division, arguably the area’s toughest league.
The Eagles left no doubt Friday they’re one of the state’s best.
“We’re a great team,” said Abshagen, one of five seniors and was part of Bohemia Manor’s last state final four trip in 2014. “We deserved this more than anybody.”
State softball final
at University of Maryland
No. 4 Bohemia Manor 5, Allegany 0
Bohemia Manor 000 003 2 – 5 6 0
Allegany 000 000 0 – 0 3 3
Penta and ; Stott and Deshong
2B: Bohemia Manor – Abshagen
3B: Bohemia Manor – Tidaback
HR: Bohemia Manor – Ferguson
North Caroline 8, South Carroll 1
North Caroline 101 020 4 – 8 10 2
South Carroll 000 000 1 – 1 4 0
Bishop and Mast; Sharman and Sharman and Scales
2B: North Caroline – Bishop, Robbins, Strange
HR: North Caroline – Dixon