Seton Keough pitcher Robi Zimmerman is no stranger to facing Archbishop Spalding’s softball team. The three-year starter has led her Gators against the Cavaliers in many epic battles, including the last two IAAM A Conference championship games and used that familiarity to her advantage.
The junior was nearly unhittable, allowing just one run while striking out ten batters to pace No. 3 Seton Keough in a 4-1 victory in the second game on Thursday afternoon in Severn.
Before the regularly scheduled contest could begin, the rivals had to finish a game that was suspended due to inclement weather on March 30th. Zimmerman pitched two scoreless innings and hit the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh to help the Gators earn a 5-4 win.
“We already played against them once so it was [about] learning their hitters and knowing what their strengths and weaknesses are,” Zimmerman said. “Jackie [Boswell] and Mikki [Kouneski] called a great game, so I just hit my spots.”
“I think Robi did a great job despite the crazy circumstances. I kept asking her if she needed Hannah [Tavik] to come in and she said, ‘no, I got it,’” said Gators coach Jackie Boswell. “[Spalding] put the ball in play quite a few times but our defense made the plays.”
No. 2 Spalding jumped out to a 4-0 lead back in March before fielding errors allowed Seton Keough to tie the game. In Thursday’s makeup, mistakes again plagued the Cavaliers.
Gators’ catcher Mikki Kouneski reached on an error and advanced to second in the bottom of the seventh inning. Zimmerman followed with a walk-off RBI single down the left field line.
In the next game, Zimmerman continued to be a thorn in the Cavaliers’ side. She led off the second inning with a walk and reached second base on an overthrow. Pinch runner Morgan Scardina stole third and the throw from Spalding catcher Kelsie Traylor got away from the third baseman, allowing Scardina to score.
The Gators (6-0 overall, 5-0 league) added two more runs in the third inning. Haley Clampitt and Bridget O’Malley both laid down bunts and reached base on throwing errors before Kouneski blooped a two-run single into centerfield to give Keough a 3-0 advantage.
Scardina, runner for the pitcher, scored again from third base in the top of the fourth after Allison Clampitt reached on another error.
The Cavaliers (2-2, 1-2) finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth when shortstop Melanie Gunning drilled an RBI double to left field, plating pitcher Emily Weiman.
In the two combined contests, Spalding committed 10 errors that led to all nine of the Gators’ runs.
Weiman was stellar in the circle, finishing with 18 strikeouts and one walk in the first game and eight strikeouts in the second.
“The bad news for us is, they didn’t get any earned runs. Our defense still has some things to figure out,” said Spalding coach Kristin Dulay. “But we’re swinging the bat well and Emily is doing her thing out there. I think once we get a few more innings under our belt, I think we’re going to be fine.”
No. 3 Seton Keough 5, No. 2 Spalding 4
Spalding 400 000 0 — 4 8 6
Keough 040 000 1 — 5 5 2
Weiman and Traylor; Zimmerman and Kouneski.
RBI: S–Miller, Gartner, Bishop; SK–O’Malley, Kouneski, Zimmerman.
No. 3 Seton Keough 4, No. 2 Spalding 1
Keough 012 100 0 — 4 4 1
Spalding 000 001 0 — 1 4 4
Zimmerman and Kouneski; Weiman and Traylor.
2B: SK–Zimmerman; S–Gunning.
RBI: SK–Kouneski (2); S–Gunning.