Christian Brothers Academy’s best chance at softball success in 2012 hinges on pitcher Jordan Sheridan winning duels against other top hurlers, which she did twice in a span of three days.
In Thursday’s game against defending Section III Class A champion Phoenix, Sheridan matched her talents against the Firebirds’ Brittney Sears and emerged with a 1-0 victory.
Through four innings, it remained 0-0. Phoenix would notch five hits off Sheridan, but not get any of them to cross the plate as the CBA ace drew just one walk and struck out 10.
For her part, Sears, pitching for the first time in a week (she had pulled a hamstring in an April 18 loss to East Syracuse-Minoa), had nine strikeouts shut down the Brothers until the fifth inning.
Sheridan singled and raced home on Jessica Valerino’s double, accounting for two of the three hits CBA got off Sears – and all that it would need.
Two days later, when CBA hosted East Syracuse-Minoa, it turned into another tense battle that bled into eight innings before the Brothers prevailed 2-1.
Sheridan and her Spartans counterpart, Danielle Ventrone, went through the first five innings 0-0, each side getting people on base but unable to score them thanks to terrific defense.
ESM’s Julie Maselli made a diving catch in the bottom of the fifth. Then, in the sixth, with Haley Wodarczyk on first base and one out, Maselli laid down a sacrifice bunt. Wodarczyk took off for third on the forceout and a wild throw back to third allowed Wodarczyk to score.
Ventrone clung to that 1-0 lead until the bottom of the seventh. Monica Hanson led off with a walk, and then took off for second on a stolen-base attempt.
Originally, it looked like Jamie Gallardo’s throw nailed Hanson, but after a protest and an umpire’s conference, Hanson was ruled safe. She went to third on a groundout and scored the tying run on Clare Gollegly’s sacrifice fly.