Severna Park varsity softball has a young team with only four seniors, but the girls proved the playoff stage was not too big during the region semifinals on May 17. Sophomore Christina Ballagh pitched a complete game shutout, freshman Addison Bianco hit a grand slam and the Falcons won 7-0 over Old Mill.
Severna Park scored two runs in the third inning and one run in the fourth before Bianco’s grand slam in the fifth.
“We were all really hyped at the moment, so we just kept pushing through because we were ahead,” Bianco said. “It felt amazing because this is my first home run in high school.”
Ballagh threw 61 of her 87 pitches for strikes, scattering six hits over seven innings while striking out six batters.
“Christina pitched very, very well today,” said Severna Park head coach Meredith McAlister. “I was calling pitches for her, and she put the ball pretty much everywhere I asked her to.”
Ballagh had a simple explanation for her strong performance.
“I just had to make sure to focus,” she said. “I knew I had to get things going because it’s a playoff game and it matters more.”
Offensively, Savannah Drummond added two hits and a walk for the Falcons. Viktoria Dorn, Sally Trent and Lily Becker each had a hit.
“That’s a good team we just beat,” McAlister said after the game. “We got the hits when we needed them. We got runners on in order to move them around. We got lucky on a couple errors that gave us some extra runs, which gave us a breather. And then we had an inning where we got the bases loaded with no outs and we were able to capitalize.”
With the win, Severna Park advances to the region finals on Wednesday at 4:30pm. After the game, the team did not know if their opponent would be Glen Burnie or North County. They will play Glen Burnie at home for a chance to reach the state quarterfinals.
“Both of those were tight games for most of the game for us earlier in the season, so it’s no small task,” McAlister said. “But if we put it together again, we can beat anyone.
“We want to play our game. If we do the same thing where we get the outs we’re supposed to get, Christina pitches well again, we hit the ball and use our speed when we’re supposed to, we can make anything happen.”
Bianco and her teammates believe they can keep building on their momentum.
“We just have to bring our positive attitude back and definitely keep focused on what we need to do,” she said. “If we can do what we did today, I have no doubt we’ll do amazing tomorrow.”