Softball: Hall’s slam leads No. 5 Frederick past top-ranked Erie

ERIE — Savannah Hall knew the back story, both long and short.

The Frederick first baseman knew all about the one-sidedness of the Warriors’ rivalry with Erie, and she also recalled her at-bat from earlier in the game Saturday.

One big swing allowed her to forget about both.

The junior crushed a grand slam to center field, which turned out to be the snapshot of the No. 5 Warriors’ gigantic 6-0 road upset of No. 1 Erie. Sophomore pitcher Alicia Hernandez took care of things on the defensive side with a shutout and 10 strikeouts as Frederick roared to an impressive early-season victory.

“We come into this game every year thinking Erie’s the number one team, they’re our rivals, and sooner or later we just think we’re going to lose the game,” Hall said. “We just wanted to come in thinking we were going to win, and we just need to do that in every single game from here on out.”

It marked the first time since the 2007 season that Frederick had overthrown Erie, and the longtime rivals generally meet twice per season.

Hall had an opportunity in the top of the first inning to put Frederick (3-0 overall and in the 4A Tri-Valley League) ahead with Alex Dufour on third and Mae Mitchell on second with only one out. The cleanup hitter didn’t come through that time, but her second at-bat against Erie ace Rio Sanchez was a different story.

“She went down looking in a scoring opportunity in the previous at-bat, but I just caught her in the dugout and told her ‘You’re in that spot for a reason, and it’s not to strikeout looking,'” Frederick coach Roger Dufour said. “I challenged her to see what she could do next at-bat, and she answered.”

Hall’s slam broke a scoreless tie on a ball she believed was a sacrifice fly.

“I was going up there not trying to do anything fancy,” she said. “I was looking to put the bat on the ball and got lucky.”

Frederick added two more in the fifth on an RBI groundout by second baseman Antonia Villani and a run-scoring double by catcher Hanna Ellis. The cushion was plenty for Hernandez, who, like Erie’s Sanchez, is one of the finest sophomore pitchers in the state.

Hernandez won some huge games as a freshman, but none bigger than this.

“This was the best win, just because it’s a good team and we haven’t beaten them for awhile,” Hernandez said. “Yeah, they’re intimidating because they’re good. But we can beat them and we did.”

Hernandez said she settled in around the second inning after being “all hyped up” in the first. Frederick also got a standout performance from right fielder Paris Woods, who went 3 for 3 with a triple and two stolen bases.

For Erie (2-1, 1-1), it was an early-season wake-up call.

“We need to focus on our deficiencies, the things that we’re not doing well right now,” Tigers coach Bob Bledsoe said. “But that was just a dominating performance by Frederick.”

Erie is playing without four injured players (three likely season-ending) and without starting shortstop Katie Glaze, who is attempting to rectify some academic issues. But it probably wouldn’t have mattered in this one.

“Even if we didn’t have any injuries, that was an impressive performance,” Bledsoe said. “They were ready to play. They fielded the ball well, they hit the ball well and the girl threw a great game.”

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Frederick 6, Erie 0

At Erie HS

Frederick 004 020 0 — 6 9 2

Erie 000 000 0 — 0 6 3

W — Hernandez (3-0). L — Sanchez (1-1).

Frederick hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Dufour 4-0-1-0, Woods 3-1-3-0, Mitchell 2-1-0-0, Hall 4-1-1-4, Hamilton 3-1-0-0, Hernandez 4-0-1-0, Villani 4-0-1-1, Ellis 4-0-1-1, Wyatt 3-1-1-0. Totals 31-6-9-6. 2B — Ellis, Wyatt. 3B — Woods. HR — Hall (grand slam in 3rd). SB — Woods 2, Mitchell, Hamilton.

Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kudrna 3-0-0-0, M. Foster 3-0-1-0, Maul 3-0-1-0, Kovets 3-0-1-0, Sanchez 2-0-1–0, Bauchert 3-0-1-0, Fisher 3-0-1-0, Wilson 3-0-0-0, Natal 3-0-0-0. Totals 26-0-6-0.

Frederick pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Hernanez 7-6-0-0-1-10.

Erie pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Sanchez 7-9-6-4-2-8.