Although she’s admittedly not the most patient hitter in National Cathedral’s lineup, senior shortstop Kinza Baad and her discerning eye proved to be the difference against St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes on Tuesday night in Alexandria.
As one of three consecutive Eagles to draw a walk in the fifth inning, Baad scored the winning run after an error allowed her and first baseman Emma Larson to cross home plate in a 2-1 pitcher’s duel.
All-Met Alexis Sargent struck out 16 for the Saints, and retired Baad twice in that fashion, but the shortstop held steady in the fifth inning on a nasty pitch that had her searching for words.
“Her riseball is just. . . . it’s so hard to hit a riseball. I hate walking, so that riseball gets me every time,” Baad said. “It all clicked in that at-bat.”
National Cathedral junior pitcher Sarah Ing matched Sargent in the circle, striking out seven and giving up two hits with no earned runs to earn the win against the Saints, who entered the game as the only other Independent School League AA team without a league loss.
Sargent scored the sole run for St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (8-2, 4-1) when she singled in the fourth, stole second base and scored on an error.
The Eagles (8-0, 5-0) rose to the challenge in the next inning to remain undefeated.
“I think a lot of it was taking advantage of little opportunities.” Ing said. “I really made sure I kept the ball down, made sure that I gave my team balls to field. At bat, a lot of people [from the] top to bottom of the lineup pulled it out for us.”
Ing was hit by a pitch in the third inning that moved sophomore left fielder Grace Trotter to third base, but a two-strike bunt attempt rolled just foul for a strikeout that stranded both runners on base.
Coach Dave Langley, in his first year at National Cathedral, said to an assistant coach that if not for “six inches, we’d have a run.”
Sargent, who went 1 for 2 at the plate with a walk, held the Eagles under nine runs, the first time that has happened all season.
“You’re never going to win a game with just one run. You’ll need a lot of luck to do it,” Sargent said. “Hopefully we get a second shot at them and we’ll show them what the real Saints play like.”