Defending 4A softball champion Catonsville falls in state semifinals to Sherwood
by Nelson Coffin
Sherwood right-hander Kat Hanson’s changeup kept No. 11 Catonsville’s hitters off-balance for much of a Class 4A state semifinal Wednesday night at Bachman Field in Glen Burnie.
Unfortunately for the Comets, their fielding also deserted them in the battle against the Warriors from Montgomery County.
The combination of those two elements led to a 5-0 defeat and the end of Catonsville’s state championship reign.
With high expectations coming into the season, the Baltimore County champs achieved much of what they hoped to do this spring.
Getting past Sherwood, though, proved to be a bit more tricky against a pitcher whose off-speed stuff was maddeningly effective.
After all, there’s a reason that Hanson came into the game with an overall 5-0 mark while sporting an 0.78 ERA in the postseason.
She only surrendered two hits and walked three in the complete-game performance.
The Comets (16-3) started well in the first inning when leadoff hitter Abby Mitchell stroked a shot to deep left that was ruled an error when it glanced off the outfielder’s glove.
She reached second on the miscue and advanced to third on an infield out before being stranded there — the only Comet to get that far.
Meanwhile, the Warriors (17-2) pushed across a run in the bottom half of the inning when Catonsville pitcher Maggie Kreis hit a batter who eventually came around to score on Kay Sakala’s single.
Sakala also reached third on the first of five Comet errors, although no harm was done because Mitchell caught Summer Green looking to end the threat.
Sherwood added three more runs in the fourth on two bunt singles, a two-base error and Green’s two-run single that pushed the Warriors’ advantage to 4-0.
Meanwhile, the Comet bats were mostly silent except for a solid single to left by senior third baseman Alyssa Ochman in the fourth and junior designated player Abby Grimes’ single in the seventh.
Hanson said that she came into the game “a little nervous” until her team jumped ahead in the opening frame.
“After we got that run I knew it was going to be us,” she said.
Speaking of nerves, they played a big part in the Comets’ fielding woes, according to Catonsville coach Paul Harris.
“We were tight in certain spots, and it 100 percent was because of nerves,” he said. “The girls wanted to come back here and repeat, so they were a little tight.”
Kreis only gave up six hits, walked one, fanned three and hit a batter.
“Their hitters really couldn’t get her squared up, except for a couple of times,” Harris said.
CLASS 4A STATE SOFTBALL SEMIFINAL
(AT BACHMAN PARK)
SHERWOOD 5, NO. 11 CATONSVILLE 0
Catonsville 000 000 0 — 0 2 5
Sherwood 103 010 — 5 6 1
Maggie Kreis and Caelyn Voss; Kat Hanson and Holly Rogers