Lynsie Herman tries not to think of the pressure. That’s why Crofton High softball coach Sarah Bible sees her thriving.
When Herman came up to the plate in the top of the sixth inning with a runner on second base in a 4-4 game at Chesapeake-Anne Arundel Monday afternoon, she didn’t feel the pressure.
She delivered a single, scoring the runner from second, putting the Cardinals up a run late in the game. No. 4 Crofton pushed across seven more runs in the final two frames, en route to a 12-4 win over fifth-ranked Chesapeake-Anne Arundel in an Anne Arundel County match.
“Lynsie is just a pressure player,” Bible said. “You want Lynsie to be up in those situations.”
In a game of momentum swings, Herman’s hit was the defining one as the Cardinals (2-1 overall and Anne Arundel), who bounced back from a 5-3 loss to Northeast Thursday.
“It feels really good to get those clutch hits even when the game is really close,” Herman said. “We just have to have faith in ourselves and be confident.”
Both teams battled through the first two innings scoreless. Crofton had the best chance to put an early run on the board, as it loaded the bases with one out in the second frame. A forceout at the plate and a flyout to center field killed the Cardinal rally.
Herman scored the first run of the game in the third inning. She singled, advanced to third on a bunt single from India Stokes. Herman scampered home on a wild pitch to open the scoring.
Chesapeake (1-1, 1-1 Anne Arundel)immediately had an answer, however, when Emliee Leone scored Rylee Hyde with an RBI single in the bottom half of the frame.
Crofton fired back with a three-run frame in the top of the fourth. Herman drove her second of three runs in the game and Stokes sent the ball over the right-center field fence to put the Cardinals up 4-1.
“That was a huge turning point,” Bible said of Stokes’ blast.
Chesapeake battled back yet again in the fifth. Leone drove in Hyde with a sac fly, Samantha Larkin drove in Payton Martell with a triple and Ava Cicchetti drove Martell in with a single. Again, it was even, this time at 4-4.
Hyde reached on an error, starting the Cougar rally. The error, along with two in the previous inning that put runners in scoring position, bothered Bible.
“The errors we’ve got to eliminate,” Bible said. “I don’t know what’s going on with that.”
But Crofton had one last surge in it. Herman hit the go-ahead RBI single. Stokes reached on an error, scoring Herman. Stokes scored on a passed ball. In the seventh, Bethany Steers drove in a run with a double. Amaya Mullings drove in a run on an unassisted groundout to the second baseman. Herman capped her huge game with another RBI single, and Stokes drove in another with a fielder’s choice.
“To have some key hitting is really huge,” Bible said.
Chesapeake, despite having a younger squad, was able to battle back to tie the game twice. Acting coach Leroy Downin — coaching in place of Brittany Owen, who was dealing with a personal matter — liked what he saw.
“They showed a lot of resilience for being such a young team,” Downin said. “Some of our upperclassmen stepped up. The dugout was pretty lively, even though we were down.
NO. 4 CROFTON 12, NO. 5 CHESAPEAKE-ANNE ARUNDEL 4
Crofton 0 0 1 3 0 3 5 — 12 10 3
Chesapeake 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 — 4 5 1
WP - Kristin White. LP - Lindsay Cavey.
2B: Crofton - Bethany Steers. Chesapeake - Payton Martell.
3B: Chesapeake - Samantha Larkin.
HR: Crofton - India Stokes.