Kent County 18 — Kent Island 16

The Kent County 14-and-under softball team captured the Eastern Shore Tri-County Softball League championship last Wednesday at Route 18 Park in Centreville, knocking off defending titlist Kent Island, 18-16, in a five-inning affair shortened due to time.

The Fast and Furious captured the crown despite a 3-10-1 overall record, having knocked out the Kent County Trojans, 20-12, in the semifinal and scoring a combined 38 runs in the two playoff games. The Khaos finished with a 8-5-1 mark. Kent Island defeated the Queen Anne’s Sharks, 22-8, in the other semifinal.

Singles by Zoe Markovic, Haylee Bohle, Maggie Kelley and Starr Wyatt, along with a series of passed balls, led to a five-run first inning for the Fast and Furious. Infield defense and a Markovic strikeout worked around a Sebria Roulhac single in the bottom of the frame to keep Kent Island scoreless.

In the top of the third, with Kent County now up 8-2, two hits and two walks led to two runs to make it 10-2. RBI singles by Gabi Jefferson and Julia Carroll highlighted a strong bottom of the fourth for the Khaos, who pulled within 10-6 with a four-run frame.

Kent County answered with five in the top of the fourth inning on singles by Bohle, Kelley, Wyatt, and a Lexi Morris double to make it 15-6.

A three-run double by Jefferson sparked Kent Island in the bottom of the fourth, which ended with a 15-11 Kent County lead. With the time limit approaching, the teams were awarded unlimited runs in the fifth inning to stave off a rout rule.

Kent County’s top of the fifth featured singles by Gabby Nordoff and Kaitlyn Hass, and Markovic blew it open with a three-run home run to left center. Kent Island’s Mariah Cromwell made a nice fielding play at second to end the inning, taking a relay from Emma Reeder on a hit to right center, ending at Carroll at third base to cut down the runner.

Reeder smacked an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth and Cromwell also stroked a two-RBI single, but Markovic struck out the last batter to lock down the win.

Markovic was awarded the ‘W’ for Kent County, going four innings and striking out five. Lexus Bridge pitched all five innings for Kent Island, striking out five.

“I am so proud of how the KIYBSC (Kent Island Youth Baseball and Softball Club) Softball program has improved through the six years coach Mark Kurtz and I have been directing the program,” Kent Island Khaos head coach Jack Carr said via email Monday night. “It was amazing to have a team in the playoff championship at the 10U, 12U and 14U divisions this season.”

“The 14U Khaos team dedicated this season to the memory of Jake Sloan,” Carr added. “Jake Sloan was the young Kent Island resident that was taken from us way too soon in an October car accident at the Queenstown outlets. My girls all wore red wrist bands in honor of Jake’s favorite color. And Jake’s number was number 8 when he played baseball. I did not issue a number 8 to my team as my way of honoring Jake’s memory.”

All information courtesy of Jack Carr.

12U FINAL

Kent Island 15, Kent County 7

The 12-and-under Devils won their first-ever Tri-County Softball League championship, wrapping up a 14-0 season with a five-inning victory over the Fireballs last Tuesday at Route 18 Park in Centreville.

In the top of the fifth, the Devils fielding was strong, giving up a run on a walk and three stolen bases by Paige Miller. The inning ended with a stellar play on the third-base line from Cameron Carr.

Lizzie McConnell belted a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth for Kent Island, and Brooke Lewis tripled but was later caught stealing home. Brianna Kurtz later connected on a two-out, two-RBI hit, and walks by Katelyn Pajak and Ava Blum again loaded the bases. Cameron Carr then ended the game with a rocket down the third-base line, scoring the fifth run of the frame and triggering the eight-run, rout-rule.

Kent Island erased a 4-0, first-inning deficit with a five-run bottom of the frame. Hits from Hayven Applefeld, McConnell, Lewis and Lilly Bergeron, with Lila Weldon and Avery Eaton among those crossing the plate.

Paige Miller got the Fireballs going early, smacking a three-run home run in the first inning to score Tess Fuchs and Kayleen Fuchs. Kent County tacked on another run in the inning when Kate Cannon scored on a bases-loaded walk, but three strikeouts by Kent Island pitcher Kurtz got her team out of further trouble.

The Fireballs retook the lead in the second on runs by Michelle Menequin and Jillian Carranza, but the Devils escaped further damage when left fielder Ava Blum made two big catches. Kent Island tied it up in the bottom of the inning, when Blum picked up a hit, stole two bases and then scored for a 6-6 tie.

Applefeld took the mound for Kent Island in the top of the third and went three-up, three-down with two strikeouts and a grounder to second. Kent Island pulled ahead in the bottom, hits from Applefeld, McConnell and Kurtz scored Eaton and Marley Doyle.

Applefeld held Kent County in check again in the fourth with two strikeouts and a walk. The Devils got out of the inning with catcher Lewis throwing out a runner at third, Cameron Carr applying the tag. In the bottom of the fourth, with the Devils up 10-6, the Fireballs defense held the Devils with great plays from the shortstop and a double play on a fly ball.

All information courtesy of Mark Kurtz.

10U FINAL

Kent Island 9, Queen Anne’s 2

Ashley Stevens struck out 14 in a six-inning, complete-game effort, as the Sharks defeated the Gators in the Eastern Shore Tri-County Softball League 10-and-under final played last Monday at Love Point Park in Stevensville.

Kent Island finished the season with a 9-2 mark, while Queen Anne’s went 8-3. Kent Island went from last place in the league in 2018 to the top of the pile, winning both the regular season and playoff titles.

The Sharks’ Jules Gonzalez went 3 for 3 with three doubles, three RBIs, and three runs scored, while Julia Busch scored a run. Clare O’Keefe and Delaney Norris made a series of fine plays on the field for Kent Island.

Emma Fox and Allison Milligan each reached bases three times for the Gators and scored a run apiece.

All information courtesy of Shawn O’Keefe.

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