- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
GLEN BURNIE Thanks to solid pitching from sophomore Jess Cummings and an offensive punch, Northern’s softball team earned a 7-2 victory over Reservoir of Howard County on Tuesday night in the Class 3A state semifinals at the Bachman Softball Complex.
With the victory, Northern (24-0 overall) punched a ticket to its fifth-straight state final at 3:30 p.m. Saturday versus Linganore of Frederick County at University of Maryland’s Robert E. Taylor Stadium in College Park.
Linganore edged Eastern Tech of Baltimore 4-3 in eight innings in Tuesday’s other state semifinal.
The feat of winning five state titles in a row has never been done in the state by any softball program, something that the Patriots are striving for.
“We lose eight seniors a year ago and we’re young this year,” Northern head coach Robert Earl Radford said. “The expectations never change. We felt that we could get here, but we didn’t know that it could be like this."
Northern scored six runs combined in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to help secure the win.
Reservoir (20-4) tied the game at 1 after senior Morgan Wolfe scored on one of two Patriots errors in the bottom of the first inning. From there, Cummings retired 19 of the last 25 batters and finished with 12 strikeouts for the contest.
“We have a lot of players on the team that have been in the dugout but actually haven’t been on the field in the state tournament,” said Cummings, who yielded just two hits all game. “I think it was nerves at the beginning, but after the first inning we just realized that it’s just another game.”
The Gators scored its second run of the game in the bottom of the seventh when senior center fielder Megan Maloney collected a bases loaded RBI single, scoring senior Rachel Brown, but it was too little too late.
“It was a matter of our game jitters and their pitcher got in the groove,” Reservoir head coach Julie Frisvold said. “We didn’t figure out their pitching until the sixth [inning], by then they already had some runs under their belt.”
Senior shortstop Lindsey Schmeiser had three of Northern’s 10 hits in her four plate appearances, drove in a run and touched home plate once. Junior third baseman Erin Adams collected an RBI double and scored on a wild pitch. Junior center fielder Kierstie Schaefer had a two-run triple in the contest.
Junior Kristina Lozupone had a RBI groundout, hit a triple and scored a run, while senior Marleigh Smith added a RBI double and sophomore Jessie Clemons had a base hit and a run scored.
Northern 7, Reservoir 2
Northern 100 222 0 7 10 2
Reservoir 100 000 1 2 2 3
WP Cummings, LP Brown
Extra-base hits: 2B Adams (N), Smith (N); 3B Schaefer (N), Lozupone (N)