BOWIE – Bowie High School softball pitcher Taylor Ivey could not help but smile as she walked out of the pitching circle in the fourth inning of their April 25 game against Charles H. Flowers High School. The freshman had just struck out her 12th consecutive batter and did not appear close to slowing down.
The Bulldogs had scored enough runs to make the fifth inning, the last one because of the mercy rule, and Ivey went back to work one more time.
She struck out the first batter, got the next to pop out to the third baseman in foul territory and fanned one more batter for the final out of the game, finishing with 14 strikeouts out of a possible 15 and a no-hitter in a 13-0 Bulldogs victory.
“Other teams don’t rattle me at all,” Ivey said. “So it’s not hard for me to get unfocused most of the time.”
Ivey’s performance was part of a dominant all-around game for Bowie. The Bulldogs also had the leadoff batter on and scored at least two runs in every inning. Every batter reached base, and all but one scored a run.
“I think as a whole we played pretty well today,” Bowie Head Coach Luanne Smith said. “I was pretty happy with the effort the girls had. They’ve been pretty focused and had a good effort whole year, and I think they reached those standards.”
The Bulldogs move to 12-0 this season with the win, their latest demolition of Prince George’s County competition. Bowie has outscored its opponents 203-24, scoring more than 10 runs and winning by at least seven runs in each game this season.
The Jaguars (6-4) had the start of an early rally in the top of the first inning when Dumebi Odiong reached on a dropped popup fly ball and Loren Davis walked, but they were the only two Flowers batters that would reach base all game.
After one batter struck out looking, Odiong and Makayla Clay both swiped bases to advance to second and third. The Jaguars were unable to cash in, with Ivey settling in and striking out the next two batters, foreshadowing a long afternoon.
“My catcher calms me down really well, and then I had to go back to the fundamentals,” Ivey said. “And make sure I pitched strikes and not trying to be fast, not pitched strikes.”
Bowie went right to work in the bottom of the first inning as Kennedy Thomas-Cogar walked, and Shaundria Jones singled then Ivey brought both players home with a triple into left field before scoring herself on a wild pitch during the next at-bat. The Bulldogs would bat around in the first inning, jumping out to a 5-0 lead.
Ivey continued to help her own cause, leading off the bottom of the second inning with a single after striking out the side in the top of the inning. She later scored when an Isabella Duron single got past the Flowers outfield. Duron would score on a throwing error which was followed by Abry Anna Henderson’s crushing home run to center field to give Bowie an 8-0 lead.
Ivey sent the Jaguars down with three straight strikeouts again in the third inning and added another run for herself on an RBI fielder’s choice in the bottom of the inning. The Bulldogs would tack on two more in the inning on a double from Clay, putting the game into mercy rule territory.
Ivey never relinquished control on the mound, retiring Flowers in order the last two innings. It was the icing on the cake of a dominant performance.
“She’s had a good impact on the team in terms of being on the mound and at bat,” Smith said. “She’s driven in runs consistently all year, so it’s good having her around.”