BERLIN- Decatur’s varsity softball team ran into a buzz saw on Monday, falling to visiting Fallston, 2-1, in a tight, well-pitched game to bow out of the state Class 3A East region playoffs.
Decatur entered the tournament as the number-two seed and a first-round bye after compiling an impressive 13-4 mark in the regular season. Fallston, meanwhile, came in as the 10th-seeded team in the field, but beat North Harford in its opening round game to earn a trip to the Eastern Shore to face the Seahawks on Monday.
The Decatur hitters could get nothing going against Fallston pitcher Val Strawbridge, who was dominating all day. Seahawk starter Maddie Justice was equally impressive throughout the contest, allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out seven. In the end, Fallston scratched out just enough offense to beat Decatur and advance.
Fallston got one run in the second on a solo homer and added another in the fourth to extend the lead to 2-0. The score remained 2-0 until the bottom of the seventh when Decatur’s Shae Nottingham led off the Seahawks’ final at bat with a solo home run to deep center. For a moment, it looked like the Fallston centerfielder caught the deep drive, but the ball bounced out of her glove and the momentum carried the ball and player over the fence for a home run. However, Strawbridge hunkered down and struck out the next three Seahawks in order to preserve the 2-1 win.