The greatest threat to Northeast’s successful defense of its Anne Arundel County championship comes from Chesapeake, just six miles down the road in Pasadena. Most of the girls play on club teams together and know what to expect of their county rivals, and in their second meeting, Chesapeake Coach Don Ellenberger predicted either a one-run game, or “one team could play the other out” given the hitting skills and pitchers on both ends. Ultimately, Northeast’s 4-0 win at home ended up being somewhere in between.
“I don’t think we cleared them out, but I also think it was one of our better games,” said Eagles left fielder Sarah Gordon. “We proved ourselves and we kept doing so, time and time again.”
The game was scoreless in the fourth when the Eagles gathered in their usual huddle to pump themselves up. They were ready to take their time and take their pitches, Gordon said. And Sarah Kriewald delivered the spark for a four-run inning. The theme of her mid-inning speech was meatballs — hitting solid pitches and “making it rain meatballs” over the Northeast diamond — and it was just what the Eagles needed to get going.
“We actually talked about what we needed to do. We knew what we were going to do and we did it,” Gordon said. “Sarah [Kriewald] always pumps us up, but she really pumped us up this time.”
Coral Dittmar stepped up with a double, then pitcher Brooke Steinbach hit a triple, followed by a triple from Kriewald. Northeast (11-0) has hit like this much of the season, Steinbach said. Just one player connecting sets off a flurry of hits that has kept the Eagles undefeated.
“If the first batter gets on, that’s usually when we have our big inning,” Steinbach said.
Steinbach, who will play for Stevenson next year, struck out eight to bring her season total to 100 in 11 games.
“I don’t think I was having my best game today, the defense just had my back,” she said. “I was pitching a lot of screwballs, and last game I was more working outside. I was mixing it up a lot today.”
Hunter Royston and Brooke Baxter had singles for Chesapeake (9-2). The two teams met at the end of March (Northeast won, 6-4), in the first of three games this season. The Eagles play Meade on Thursday and continue the spring break with a tournament this weekend at Bachman Park.