Cougars not big hit in loss

May 24, 2000|By DAN SPEARS

SEVERN, Md. - The Catoctin softball program is one of the state's most storied. The Cougars are third on the all-time list for state tournament appearances with 11 - the highest amount for a non-3A school.

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The Cougars, however, still only have one title to show for all their efforts. Tuesday's 3-1 loss to Rising Sun in the Class 1A semifinals at Randazzo Park will force them to wait at least another year for title number two.

"We had a different outlook this time," said Catoctin coach Sue Weaver, who has been at the helm for the last six tries. "We said not many teams have come down here this many times. This time, it was all about the journey, having a lot of kids grow up along the way."

They may be grown up now, but the frustration of another semifinal loss will wear on the Cougars for a while. A team that averaged 12 hits per game in 2000 only got four off the Tigers' Jen Maccari.


"We said it yesterday, we said it today," Weaver said. "Don't get beat again because you don't hit the ball. And that's what happened."

Catoctin (19-5) started in a hole after just a half of an inning. With one on, two outs and a full count, Rising Sun catcher Amanda Maska crushed a liner down the left-field line. It bounced just inches fair and rolled all the way to the corner - 300 feet away - for a stand-up homer and a 2-0 lead.

The Cougars got one back in the bottom half to make it 2-1, but stranded the bases loaded despite two hits and two walks.

"I don't know about (the team), I'm not in their heads," Weaver said. "But I know (the homer) knocked me for a loop. It was only six inches fair, but sometimes, that's all it takes.

"And then we didn't capitalize, at least not the way we normally do. Three runs should not beat us."

Maccari, and another run for Rising Sun (16-4) in the fourth, made it stand up. The junior found her corners early and left the frustrated Cougars swinging at early pitches in the middle innings.

"I had all my pitches, I hit my spots and my defense was behind me," Maccari said. "I was a little jittery (in the first), but with the lead, I thought I could take some chances."

Angie Wantz and Kristen Abbott, Catoctin's two best hitters this season, had all four hits. It was a total turnaround from Monday, when the Cougars got 12 hits to win the South regional title.

"We had five names in the paper yesterday because of big hits," Weaver said. "Today, we'll only have two. At this point, you just can't do that."

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