SPRINGDALE – Senior pitcher Taylor Lee threw four shutout innings in relief as the Bowie softball team defeated Charles H. Flowers 32-8, earning a berth into the regional semifinals of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association 4A state playoffs. Lee, who will attend Anne Arundel Community College next fall, came in midway through the […]
SPRINGDALE – Senior pitcher Taylor Lee threw four shutout innings in relief as the Bowie softball team defeated Charles H. Flowers 32-8, earning a berth into the regional semifinals of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association 4A state playoffs.
Lee, who will attend Anne Arundel Community College next fall, came in midway through the bottom of the first inning after Bowie’s early four-run lead evaporated. Right-handed starter Amanda Clore had just given up five runs and walked five batters, causing Head Coach Luanne Smith to make the switch.
“As a team, we got to pick up our teammates and that’s exactly what I went in there to do,” Lee said. “When I have a bad day Amanda comes in and picks me up, so I had to have her back.”
The decision didn’t start off well, as Lee allowed three more runs before finally getting out of the inning. However, the senior improved with every pitch. Battling through wind gusts of up to 17 miles-per-hour, Lee struck out four batters while giving up only two hits. After every out, the Bulldog bench applauded Lee for her effort.
“We came in looking to win,” Lee said. “Our goal was to make it to states and we’ve been working so hard this season for that. I am really proud of everybody and how we played today as a team.”
Offensively, Bowie (12-4) turned to two-sport senior Randi Graham, who is also a striker for the Lady Bulldogs’ soccer team. The second baseman went 5-for-5, driving in five runs. Early in the second inning, Graham hit a triple to left field off of Flowers’ starting pitcher Mya Lowe, driving in a run and recalibrating Bowie’s offense.
“Last game (vs. High Point), I did not look good at all,” Graham said. “When I hit that, I felt like motivating everyone and bringing everybody in. I was eager to get at her and hit.”
Despite allowing the five runs, Lowe looked poised to have a breakout performance. The junior struck out three batters and allowed one walk during her brief appearance. She was removed from the game by officials after being struck with a line drive on her forehead late in the second inning, causing her to go down in pain.
The injury left Flowers stunned, as no other player had received ample practice time when it came to pitching, Head Coach Molly Bender said. Two players attempted to finish the game, but struggled to contain Bowie’s offense. In the second inning alone, the Bulldogs scored 14 runs and walked nine times, effectively putting the game out of reach.
The loss ended Flowers’ 14-game winning streak, which began after losing its season opener to Eleanor Roosevelt 7-0 on March 21. Despite the sour ending to the season, Bender isn’t discouraged, as the core of the team, including Lowe, will return next season. Hopefully, the loss will become a motivating experience to excel further next season, Bender said.
“I think they need to keep it fresh in their memory,” Bender said. “The way this game panned out isn’t how we planned it, so I think they are ready to get more repetitions in. With batting practice, travel team (training) and stuff like that, we should be able to get things in order to be ready for next year.”