Maiden hands Bandys first CVAC loss
Bandys’ unbeaten conference softball record — gone.
Maiden’s chances of winning the conference title — still alive.
The Blue Devils (10-2) avenged a 6-4 home loss to the Trojans on March 24 and overcame an early 1-0 deficit to win 3-1 on the road Tuesday.
The loss for Bandys (9-1) is the first in conference play and keeps Maiden’s hopes alive for the chance of a CVAC title.
Maiden pitcher Hannah Callahan had trouble early in the first inning of Tuesday’s game, as she loaded the bases on two hits and a hit batter.
Things got worse for the sophomore when she walked Bandys’ Scarlett Harris on a full count to the give the Trojans a 1-0 lead.
“I was so nervous in that first inning,” Callahan said. “I always knew I had my teammates backing me up and they would help me pull through it.”
Maiden coach Katrina Robinson says Callahan has thrived in pressure situations.
“Hannah has done a great job of pitching under pressure this year,” Robinson said. “She just feels comfort. She knows that we have a strong defense behind her. All she has to do is throw strikes and our defense will take care of the rest of it.”
Things all went downhill for the Trojans after the first inning, as Callahan was able to get out of trouble with only one run allowed.
Two innings later, the Lady Blue Devils’ offense got going. After a two-out single from Caroline Ward, Lindsay Schronce tripled to score her and tie the game at 1-1.
“I think as soon as I hit that triple, everyone realized we were in the game,” Schronce said. “I believe without Caroline getting on or me hitting the triple, I don’t know if we would have been in the game because that got the momentum on our side. That took the game over for us.”
Two more runs scored in the inning. Schronce scored on a sacrifice by first basemen Tai-Lynn Lail.
Outfielder Jessica Cooper doubled with two outs to score Mollie Sigmon.
“After we got those first couple of hits, we really picked it up,” Schronce said. “We started playing a whole lot better.”
Callahan was clutch to end the game, as she retired the final 13 batters in a row.
“We just didn’t hit the ball. We didn’t put the ball in play where we needed to,” said Bandys coach Mike Carpenter. “Sometimes, it happens like that. I know what these girls are capable of. They just didn’t hit the ball tonight.”
Many of the 13 batters retired by Callahan were due to defensive plays, which Robinson says her team has made a trademark of.
“Defense is something I’ve felt very strong about all this season,” Robinson said. “That is one thing we come through on. Showing that we only let one run score after getting ourselves into that situation shows the girls did a great job.”
Despite Tuesday’s win, Maiden needs to win out and have the Trojans lose a CVAC game in order to tie for the league title.
Robinson is optimistic about her team’s chances.
“We are just going one game at a time,” Robinson said. “We are going to try to win out and hope that Draughn can beat Bandys, so we can tie for first. That is all we can do. We can do our part and hope that everything else falls into place. “