Down two runs before its first at-bat Wednesday afternoon against Archbishop Spalding, John Carroll’s softball team probably had flashbacks to a loss to the Cavaliers last month.

The Patriots were determined - and got - a much different ending. No. 10 John Carroll retaliated against the top-ranked and previously undefeated Cavaliers with a 7-4 victory in an IAAM A Conference contest in Bel Air.

Junior Sophie Anderson went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI for the Patriots (8-1 overall, 5-1 IAAM A), and Savannah Claycomb had 2 hits, drove in a run and pitched a complete game. Taylor Codi had 2 hits and an RBI for Spalding (6-1, 5-1 IAAM A), and Sydnie Lanasa homered.

John Carroll did all of its scoring in its first 3 turns, handing the 3-time defending IAAM A champ Cavaliers their first league defeat since 2021. Sophomore Ryan Pindell added a 2-run double.

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Last month, Spalding defeated the Patriots, 9-0.

John Carroll was locked in for the rematch Wednesday.

“I have confidence in this team. I know they’re going to come through because they can hit the ball,” said longtime Patriots coach Sherry Hudson. “We played great defense. Savannah (Claycomb) kept them off-balanced. Great team win.”

“It was mostly our mindset…we realized that we didn’t want to take that anymore and wanted to make a change,” said Anderson. “We were pumped up and ready to play.”

Anderson was John Carroll’s offense in the March 27 match in Severn, accounting for the team’s 2 hits. The Patriots had 10 Wednesday with seven of their nine batters recording a hit.

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“We played an all-around game, hitting, fielding,” said Claycomb, a freshman.

It started rocky for Claycomb and John Carroll as Spalding had three players reach base in the first. Alyssa Derr’s sacrifice fly and an RBI single from Dani Kallas secured a 2-0 advantage.

The Patriots responded in their first at-bat with their first 3 in Claycomb, Mykaela Getz and Anderson (RBI scoring Claycomb) each getting a single. Pindell doubled to left, plating Getz and Anderson for 3-2 John Carroll advantage.

John Carroll posted another trio of runs with RBI singles Anderson and junior Sydney Dawson, sandwiching a run coming across on a fielders’ choice. The Patriots added a 2-out rally in the third as Claycomb singled home Sydney Barker.

Savannah Claycomb (left) and Sophie Anderson led the charge Wednesday for John Carroll softball. Anderson went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and Claycomb added 2 hits, an RBI and scored 2 runs as the No. 10 Patriots knocked off top-ranked Archbishop Spalding, 7-4, in Bel Air. (Derek Toney)

Getz and Samatha Sclafani were the only seniors in the batting lineup Wednesday. The Patriots, who’ve won 6 straight since the loss to Spalding, have 13 underclassmen on their roster.

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“We’re playing up to our standards and not looking at the uniform on the other side,” said Hudson. “We’re going out and doing our thing.”

Derr and Kallas each had an RBI for Spalding, which had its 17-game league win streak snapped.

Cavaliers coach Delaney Bell wasn’t surprised by the Patriots’ effort.

“Their entire lineup can hit and they’re solid in the field,” said Bell. “When we played them the last time the score didn’t reflect how the game really was, we both hit the ball.

We were really solid on defense. This time around, however, not so much.”

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Spalding 200 100 1 - 4 7 0

John Carroll 331 000 x - 7 10 0

Dean and Kallas; Claycomb and Aragon

2B: Spalding - Clark, Betts; John Carroll - Pindell

HR: Spalding - Lanasa

Derek Toney is content editor of Varsity Sports Network, a high school sports news network that became part of The Baltimore Banner in August 2022.

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