The Cardinals softball team started their 2017 softball season off in grand fashion as they were involved in a high scoring double header against Allegany College of Maryland earning the win 8-0. Strong performances from the ladies during the 4th inning really sealed the victory. A good team win, but there were some great individual performances. 3rd baseman, Stephanie Yarrish had 2 Hits and 1 Run from 3 At Bats with two RBI; 1st baseman, Samantha Cadigan went 2 for 3 and 2 Runs; and left fielder, Tyler Merritt went 2 for 2 with a run and RBI.
The second game against Allegany was a more competitive affair, with the away team hitting the ground running straight away. A home run saw the visitors go up by 3 runs in the top of the first inning but the Cardinals reacted quickly and notched two runs of their own to end an exciting inning. There was some more back and forth throughout the next two innings with both teams hitting well and scoring runs with ease. However, in the 6th inning Catonsville stepped up a gear. 6 runs later the Cardinals took a solid lead and good pitching and defense finished the game in the top of seven with a score of 12-5. Freshman Stephanie Yarrish again had a strong game scored 3 Runs and went 2 for 3 at the plate with 2 RBI's, while fellow freshman 2nd baseman, Alexis Sann got a team high 4 RBI's as well as going 2 for 2 and notching 2 Runs.
The Cardinals then took their show on the road as they travelled to the NCJAA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Georgia. Their first two games were against nationally ranked Division II opponents, Jones County and Kirkwood who were seeded #1 and #2 respectively. These were tough games for the Cardinals who struggled to find their feet. In the first game against Jones, only freshman right fielder Alexa Holderfield registered a hit. In the second game Holderfield again registered a hit but 3rd baseman Sarah Heagy lead the team this time with 2 hits. Unfortunately, both games ended 13-0 but the ladies rallied for their next game. Their next match up was against nationally ranked DI team Shelton State and the girls found better form. After not scoring a run for 2 games, Sophomore Tyler Merrit stepped up to the plate and dug deep and gained a much needed run for the Cards in the 5th inning. Unfortunately Shelton ran out as 7-1 winners but better defense and offense were both on display during the ladies game against the #16 Division 1 outfit.
The last two games of the tournament saw the Cardinals give a good account of themselves and let the girls go home with their heads held high. A game against Illinois Central College ended in a 10-5 win for the Cardinals. Big games from Shortstop, Amanda Cosgrove who went 3 for 4 at the plate with 2 Runs and 4 RBI's, Stephanie Yarrish who went 1 for 2 with 3 Runs, and Sarah Heagy who collected 3 Hits and 3 RBI's in 5 AB's. A great game and a great win for Catonsville showing they can hold their own around some of the best.
The final game of the tournament was the Cardinals most competitive game as they were just edged out 4-3 by the nationally ranked #6 Des Moines. Continuing their form from the previous game Cosgrove and Heagy were once again on the score sheet with both of them scoring once. The Cards other run was scored by Tyler Merrit who is another player we expect a lot form this season. Des Moines went ahead early with runs in the first and second inning but Catonsville dug their heels in. 4 strikeouts and a strong pitching performance from Kimberlee Cook allowed the Cardinals to attempt a comeback with three quick runs in the 6th inning. Unluckily the Cards were unable to push through and get the runs needed to win the game.
As we come into the main bulk of the season we expect good things from this year's talented group of ladies. Go Cardinals!!
Article by Lyndon Thompson