The Severna Park softball team has achieved an enviable but double-edged level of play in its pursuit of county and state supremacy this spring: the Falcons can play below their best and still win.
A rough-around-the-edges victory over Broadneck on April 24 showcased as much, as the Falcons pounded out 12 runs on 12 hits to nullify seven errors and come out on top of the host Bruins, 12-8.
In their first game coming off spring break — when Severna Park’s games at Archbishop Spalding’s Cavalier Classic, scheduled to be played at Bachman Park, were cancelled due to rain — the Falcons’ abilities outweighed their mistakes to defeat the Bruins. Campbell Kline, Maddy Gerard, Kylie Dingess and Emma Hall all had two-hit games as Severna Park used a seven-run second inning to take a sizable early advantage. Livi Driver had a two-run triple, while Emily Wilson, Makenzie Rice and Petyon Sullivan all had hits in the victory; Sullivan added three steals.
But the Falcons nearly sweat out the win, committing seven errors, squandering multiple offensive opportunities and seeing Broadneck fight from a 9-2 deficit to ultimately fall by just four runs.
“Not our best effort coming off of break,” said Severna Park head coach Meredith McAlister. “We made a lot of errors, seven, and then had three or four base-running mistakes, but we hit very well and made a couple nice plays defensively.”
Still, at 11-2 through 13 games, there is plenty to cheer about for Severna Park. An early-season loss to Glen Burnie and a midseason loss to Chesapeake haven’t shaken the confidence of the Falcons, who are still in contention with both the Gophers and Cougars for a spot in the county championship game on May 7.
“We’re just always learning,” said Driver, asked about how the team rebounds from losses. “We’re always giving each other advice, from what coach says to what we say to each other, it’s a team thing.” She concurred that beating the Bruins always carries a little extra heft: “It’s always exciting to beat Broadneck because of the rivalry, and we know a lot of them from travel ball,” Driver said.
Dingess, Severna Park’s go-to pitcher, likewise reframed the team’s losses as opportunities.
“It just motivates us to work harder, and we can come out and beat them the next time we see them,” Dingess said.
As the performance against Broadneck showed, Severna Park’s offensive depth gives them a chance to win every time out.
“Our mental game is there for hitting,” said Dingess. “We have finally caught up with being confident in the box and just trying to hit the ball in play.”
In the Broadneck dugout, coach Deanna Romeo Hamilton and the Bruins see reason for optimism. Romeo Hamilton liked the fight her Bruins showed in coming back to make the game close against Severna Park.
“I’m happy to see that, because there’s been times this season when we’ve gone down and haven’t had that fight,” she said. “We’ve been trying to get that back, so it’s good to get that back. Do you want to come out the winning side? Absolutely. But, we made the plays we needed to make, and we hit the ball. They hit the ball where we weren’t a few times, and that was the difference. Hats off to them. They’re a good team.”
Contributions came from throughout the lineup, as Shania Kellison, Cori Bereznay, Julia Harrison and Brooke Magoulick all had two-hit games and Elizabeth Shafer, Madison Chadwick and Ryan Finazzo added hits. Shafer, Bereznay and Kellison all had doubles as part of their days, while Harrison had two steals.
At 5-8, Broadneck has been on the losing end of close games against good teams, including a 4-2 loss to South River in late March and a 6-3 loss to Northeast in mid-April.
Romeo Hamilton knows her lineup is going to be a scary draw for some team in the region tournament, and if they play up to their potential, as they did for several innings against Severna Park, a playoff run is there for the taking.
“We’ve been on the wrong side of some close games,” said Romeo Hamilton. “If we play like we did today against a good team, there is confidence in that.”