April 22, 2018
Sports
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  • The Falcons were all smiles after their season-opening 3-0 win over Arundel.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    The Falcons were all smiles after their season-opening 3-0 win over Arundel.
  • Kylie Dingess' two-run home run gave the Falcons a couple insurance runs en route to a 3-0 win.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Kylie Dingess' two-run home run gave the Falcons a couple insurance runs en route to a 3-0 win.
  • Marissa Heuer was sharp in the circle for Severna Park, striking out 13 and allowing no runs in the complete-game win.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Marissa Heuer was sharp in the circle for Severna Park, striking out 13 and allowing no runs in the complete-game win.

Falcon Softball Opens With Win Over Arundel

Colin Murphy
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April 2, 2018

With nine returning players, the Severna Park softball team has the experience to maintain its mettle in tight games this season.

The Falcons kept their composure in opening the season with a win over visiting Arundel on March 26, pitching well, making plays defensively to escape a late-inning jam and getting a timely hit to defeat the Wildcats 3-0.

Senior starting pitcher Marissa Heuer was dynamite in the circle, scattering four hits and striking out 13 Wildcats to earn the victory in a complete-game shutout. Junior Kylie Dingess hit a two-run home run to break the game open in the sixth inning and put Severna Park on course to victory.

Head coach Meredith McAlister said the Falcons employed their own philosophy in coming out with the win.

“One of our mantras is to keep a ‘blue head’ in stressful situations,” said McAlister. “Just stay calm and we’ll all get it done together.”

The game was tight throughout, though Heuer had the benefit of pitching with a lead for most of the day. It was Heuer’s first-inning single that plated Campbell Kline to give Severna Park a 1-0 advantage.

In the top of the sixth inning, Arundel made its move. Maddy Miller narrowly missed a home run, her drive to center bouncing off the top of the outfield wall. Cheyenne Starr smacked her second base hit of the day to give the Wildcats two runners, and the Falcons intentionally walked Skylar Morley to load the bases.

Confidence in the team’s defense paid off. The next batter, Caroline Mills, hit a comebacker to Heuer. Heuer threw home to catcher Abby Becker for a force out at the plate, and Becker threw on to Jessie Smith at first base to complete a 1-2-3 double play. Heuer got the third out on a strikeout, and Severna Park emerged from a bases-loaded, no-out jam with its 1-0 lead intact.

“Just keep it cool and worry about the batter and see how things go out,” said Heuer. “Our communication and our defense plays really well, so having them behind me really helps.”

Severna Park capitalized on its escape from danger by adding to its lead in the bottom of the sixth. Maddy Gerard led off with a single, and Dingess followed by drilling the first pitch deep over the fence in left-center.

“It was the first pitch and it was heading down the middle, and I just swung. I didn’t even see it go out, but everybody was screaming,” said Dingess, who was making her first varsity start. “It feels great, just with the encouragement of my teammates and putting in lots of work at practice. I think this was definitely a big win because we were [knocked out] of the playoffs when Arundel beat us last year, so it was really good to come out strong. I feel like we’ve definitely set a higher standard this year for future games.”

Heuer pitched a perfect seventh to close the game and get the win. Smith, Emma Hall and Emily Gabbard also had hits for Severna Park in the win, and Kline was 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.

The Falcons improved to 2-0 the following day in a 4-1 win over Glenelg in a game that was rescheduled due to the previous week’s snowfall. Heuer picked up her second win, striking out nine and allowing only three hits. Kline was 2-for-3 and hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning to give the Falcons a 4-0 lead. Smith tripled; Becker, Gabbard and Gerard all singled; and Becker reached base twice in the victory.

With a good mix of returning players and energized underclassmen, the Falcons like their chances in another year without a dominant front-runner in the county.

“I think we can be at the top this year,” said McAlister. “We could have been at the top last year. We were almost there. I hope we can. We’ve got a great group. There’s great camaraderie. There’s three new freshmen in who are just team players and do whatever you ask of them. We picked up another sophomore. They’re a nice mix.”

Heuer said the team chemistry is already a great asset for the Falcons, who were all smiles after opening with a win over the Wildcats.

“I think both defensively and offensively we’ll be really strong,” said Heuer. “All these girls are like my best friends. Our chemistry is so strong. We always have each other’s backs. Keeping our heads up, I think we’ll do really good this year. I think we’ll go pretty far.”


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