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The end of the line for Seton Keough softball

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Gators bow out of IAAM playoffs, with a loss to Mount de Sales, to close final season (INTERVIEW HERE)
Imani DawsonIt was a sad ending for a once-powerful Seton Keough softball program on Tuesday when the Gators traveled to meet No. 13 Mount de Sales Academy in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference playoff opener.

The 10-0 setback was just another tough loss at the end of a trying time for the players and fans of the school that will close after the school year.

Just four years ago, Seton Keough reigned supreme in the conference after beating the Sailors in the championship game.

To this day, only Archbishop Spalding, with nine, has more A Conference crowns than the Gators.

This season was the polar opposite — a winless campaign with only 10 players on the roster until a late addition swelled that number by just one.

That said, Seton Keough senior pitcher Imani Dawson finished with her head held high, even if a few tears trickled down her cheeks.

The UMBC commit gave her best shot in the circle for the Gators, despite the fact that she is not really a pitcher.

Without her, Seton Keough would have been hard-pressed to field a representative team.

“It’s definitely sad,” Dawson said. “You definitely want to go out and give your all, play your hardest, but you can’t always win everything. He (Snee) said he needed me, so I thought I’d go out and help him out and pitch for my team.”

Snee knows that Dawson took one for a team that was hamstrung by things beyond its control.

“The kids have taken a beating all year because of how it (the announcement of the school’s closing in late October) was handled,” Snee said. “Imani’s not really a pitcher, but she knew that’s all we had.”

The program started to have problems attracting players after rumors began circulating three years ago that the school was in trouble.

In 2015, Seton Keough remained in the upper echelon of the conference after posting a 12-2 mark in league play.

The Gators slipped to 6-7 last year and dropped off even further this spring.

Mount de Sales coach Pete Waskiewicz, who is retiring after 24 years at the helm, said that he is sorry the Gators will be no more.

“There were years when they had good teams and beat us and years when we had good teams and beat them,” he said. “Chuck is a great coach and Imani is a class act. It’s a good rivalry that will be missed.”

As for his team, it took advantage of Dawson’s wildness to bat-around the order in the first inning while scoring four runs on just one hit, four walks and a couple of errors.

Sophomore Olivia Davidson’s two-run double was the big blow in the opening frame.

The Sailors added single runs in the second and third before piling on three more in the fourth on five walks and a sacrifice fly.

Davidson’s walk-off double in the fifth implemented the mercy rule and ended the Gators’ season.

The Sailors (12-7, 7-3 conference) advanced to Thursday’s semifinal at McDonogh School for a chance to move on to Saturday’s championship against the Archbishop Spalding-John Carroll winner.

SK     000 00    0  3  4
MDS  411 31   10  3  0

SK – Imani Dawson and Jada Johnson.
MDS — Lindsey Tolle and Allie Cluster.
2B: SK – Kayla Nickel; MDS — Olivia Davidson 2.


Last Updated (Wednesday, 10 May 2017 10:15)



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