ST. PAUL’S SCHOOL GATORS
2019 IAAM B CONFERENCE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONS
St. Paul’s tops Pallotti for IAAM B softball championship; Hobbs tosses 5-hitter (VIDEO HERE!)
by Donald Daniels
St. Paul’s School pitcher Kathe Hobbs was not feeling her best Saturday after fighting off a cold symptoms during the week. It didn’t bother her on the mound.
Hobbs threw a gem, helping the Gators defeat St. Vincent Pallotti, 4-1, in the IAAM B Conference softball title game at Stevenson University.
“I wanted to be out there for my team, I would go school and go to practice and just power through,” Hobbs said. “If my team wants me there, I will be there for them.”
“She [Hobbs] is a fighter and always has been,” St. Paul’s coach Vance Hobbs said.
In completing a perfect run (12-0) in league play, the Brooklandville school (12-o overall) atoned for last year’s title loss at the hands of Chapelgate Christian Academy.
In the second inning St. Paul’s got their first run when Ayanna Gould was walked and driven home on an Anna Hjortsberg RBI double. Rachel Katzenburg singled and Hjortsberg moved to third. Hjortsberg was driven home on Maressa Cuthrell’s RBI double and Abbi Klein’s RBI single scored Katzenburg.
“The pitcher threw ball right in my favorite area and I was like yeah, let’s go, let’s get this going,” Hjortsberg said. “Last year we lost this game by one, so to come back here and win it all is beyond words.”
“We knew we need a crooked number to beat them [St. Vincent], they are a good team and I wanted a higher number, but Kathe just threw an outstanding game,” Vance Hobbs said.
Kathe Hobbs’ only blemished came in the third. Pallotti freshmen Kiara James reached first base on a single, and was advanced to third with sound base running after groundouts from TyNiah Dates and Corenna Brogden. Hobbs’ wild pitch which allowed James to sprint home from third.
The Gators regained their 3-run advantage in the bottom of the fourth when Issing drove in Cuthrell on a RBI single. Hobbs and the Gator defense kept the Panthers off the base pads for the remaining innings that included a beautiful over the shoulder catch from Issing at the top of the sixth.
Hobbs retired Pallotti in order in the seventh, clinching the title with a strikeout.
“We are very lucky to have the girls we have on this team and we have a great chemistry,” Kathe Hobbs said. “I just know if I make a mistake in the field my teammates are there to back me up and we can come back from it.”
The Panthers will have to wait at least another spring to lift their first IAAM softball championship glass bowl.
“There was a lot expectations of our part, when you are trying to become the first team to win a championship you don’t really have an expectation set yet,” Donaldson said. “I don’t think we were loose as we normally are, but I think we rose to the occasion, it wasn’t our best game, but they have nothing to be ashamed of and this gives us motivation for next year.”
St. Paul’s was motivated this spring after last year’s title game loss at Harford Community College.
The Gators got redemption Saturday.
“Last year we lost this game by one, so to come back here and win it all is beyond words,” said Hjortsberg.
IAAM B CONFERENCE SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
AT WEINBERG-FINE STADIUM/STEVENSON UNIVERSITY
St. Paul’s School 4, St. Vincent Pallotti 1
Pallotti 001 000 0 – 1 5 2
St. Paul’s 030 100 x – 4 8 1
2B: St. Paul’s – Hjortsberg, Cuthrell