[Baltimore Sun] No. 9 Dulaney softball gets strong start from Lilly Tinker in 11-1 senior day win over Carver A&T

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Dulaney senior pitcher Lilly Tinker was given the ball for the Lions senior day game Monday against Carver A&T. She knew what this day meant for her team, but more so for herself.

Tinker was dominant against the Wildcats, giving up only four hits and striking out six batters to lead host and ninth-ranked Dulaney to an 11-1 drubbing of No. 14 Carver A&T in a six-inning game.

“I’ve put my blood, sweat and tears on this field for four years, and it feels good to have a game like this,” she said.

The Lions bats did the rest, pounding out 13 hits to lead the way. Dulaney jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first inning and scored in every inning but the second.

“We play hard and we play good defensive softball,” Dulaney coach Dave Barwick said. “Lilly spins the ball well for us. She keeps us in every game, and [the other teams] don’t score many runs. Unfortunately for us, there have been a couple of games recently when we haven’t scored any, either. She’s amazing, though.”

Barwick’s batters made sure he didn’t have to worry about that on Monday. The Lions got singles from Ava O’Donnell, Chloe Renaldo and Lila Gordon to jump out to a 1-0 lead three batters into the game. Dulaney also got singes from Carley Desi, Tinker and Hannah Harpster off of Carver starting pitcher Madison Schupple in the inning to build the 5-0 lead.

The biggest hit of the day came off the bat of Dulaney’s Kimani Dennis. The all-metro third baseman found a pitch to her liking from Schupple and deposited it over the right centerfield wall for a home run to extend the lead to 6-0.

Meanwhile, Tinker was dominant on the mound for Dulaney. She faced only one batter over the minimum through three, with only a Maya Einolf double in the third to blemish her record.

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The Wildcats got their lone run in the top of the fourth. Carver’s Haleigh Frye hit a triple to begin the inning. The next batter, catcher Emily Hamp, singled to score Frye and cut the lead to 6-1. It looked like the Wildcats may cut further in to the lead, but the Dulaney defense turned a nifty double play to quash the threat.

The Lions came back with three more runs in the bottom of the fourth when Gordon, Desi and Tinker all knocked in runs to make the lead 9-1. Dulaney added a run each in the fifth and six to put the game away.

It was about this time last year where the Lions began to go on a run that would culminate in them losing to Urbana in the Class 4A state title game. Barwick believes in his team and thinks they could be in College Park again this year.

“We’ve got a great defensive team, and they jell well together,” Barwick said. “Even though we’re in Class 3A now, when Lilly pitches well and we score runs, I think we’re good enough to make another run.”

For Carver, the loss was another hard one to swallow.

“For some reason we have not matched up well with Dulaney this year,” said Wildcats coach Kevin Klimko, whose team was beaten badly by Dulaney at home earlier this year. “They’re the only team that has blown us out this year — and they did it twice. They have an experienced team while we are very young. They speed up the game and our kids are not up to that speed yet. We’ll get there, but we’re young right now.”

Carver A&T — 000 100 —  1    4  6

Dulaney — 501 311 X — 11 13 0

WP: Tinker; LP: Schupple

2B: CA – Einolf; DU – Dennis; 3B: CA – Frye; HR: DU – Dennis.

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