(May 10, 2019) The Stephen Decatur softball team won Bayside Conference championships in 1991, 1998 and 2000, and the Lady Seahawks added another to its collection on Tuesday with a 4-1 victory over the Colonel Richardson Colonels in Salisbury.
When the two teams met early in the season on April 1, in Federalsburg, Maryland, Colonel Richardson won 12-1. The Decatur squad played more than a dozen games since that competition and was much improved for the second matchup.
“On any given day if we show up and play our best we can beat anyone,” Decatur Coach Scott Kurtz said.
Decatur scored one run in the second inning off a single by sophomore Katie Wrench, and pulled ahead 2-0 in the third with a home run by sophomore Brooklyn Pugner.
With the lead came added confidence for the Seahawks.
“We play different when we’re in the lead,” Kurtz said.
The Seahawks made it 3-0 in the fifth.
The Colonels put one run on the board in the sixth inning, which the Berlin squad answered in the bottom of the inning.
“The girls were so excited,” Kurtz said. “These girls, they can hit. It’s really fun to watch.
“There’s no gaps in the lineup,” he continued. “There’s no spot that can’t be productive.”
Wrench, Pugner, freshman Skylar Griffin, junior Amber Whittaker and senior captains Alex Richwalski and Lexi Black had one hit apiece.
Black pitched all seven innings. She struck out four, walked one and allowed five hits.
“Lexi was on a different level today and the defense behind her was strong,” Kurtz said after the game. “We worked her hard over the last few days before the game, because she gets stronger as the week goes on.”
The key to victory, Kurtz said, was Black’s solid pitching on the mound, team defense and scoring the first run.
The depth of talent has led the team to success this season, he added.
“We have more than nine starters. We have quality up and down the roster,” Kurtz said.
Decatur is heading into the playoffs with a 15-4 record. The Seahawks received the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in Section II of the 3A East Region bracket.
They will host the third-seeded Northeast Eagles of Anne Arundel on Monday at 4 p.m.
“We’re expecting a quality team to come to Decatur on Monday, so we have to play at our best,” Kurtz said. “When it matters, they show up. We need to take one inning at a time, one pitch at a time and they need to play within themselves.”
The top-seeded Chesapeake Cougars of Anne Arundel will take on the No. 4 James M. Bennett Clippers on Monday as well. The winners of both games will go head-to-head on Wednesday.