St. Timothy's Captures "C" Conference Softball Title

St. Timothy's Captures "C" Conference Softball Title

By Derek Toney,

For the first time in nearly a quarter century St. Timothy’s School has a softball championship.

How it happened will be remembered at the Baltimore County school for decades to come. St. Timothy’s defeated Annapolis Area Christian School, 11-6, in the C title game at Park School’s Sugar Campus.

St. Timothy’s put together two huge late inning breakouts to secure its first crown since 2000.

Ella Bilgera, Torene Butterfield and Portia Castro each drove in two runs for St. Timothy’s (11-1 overall), and senior Riley Ledet went 3-for-5.

“We put up a really good fight this season. We haven’t won in such a long time,” said Butterfield, a senior left fielder. “We got a new coach this year…we really put in the work.”

Cory Spartana, a St. Timothy’s graduate, took over this spring. But Thursday, she had to travel to Portugal Thursday for work.

The title game was originally scheduled Tuesday at Bachman Park, but was rained out. Assistant coach Nagee Evans along with Linda Caccavalla and Debbie Brajevich handled coaching duties Thursday.

St. Timothy’s didn’t miss a beat, scoring nine runs over the final three innings to end Annapolis Area Christian’s perfect bid in C competition this spring.

“Perseverance,” said Evans. “They continued to have a positive attitude, teamwork and support one another throughout.”

Spartana asked Caccavalla, her former club softball coach, and Brajevich (Caccavalla’s sister) to help with practice Wednesday.

“Cory had this team ready,” said Brajevich.

St. Timothy’s, the No. 2 seed, scored twice in the top of the first before Annapolis Area Christian sent 10 batters to the plate in a four-run bottom of the third. St. Timothy’s, starting with Ledet’s first pitch liner to center, went through its batting order in the fifth.

Castro made it 4-3 with a RBI single. Bilgera went to third on the hit, and was awarded home for defensive interference, tying the game. After Gabrielle Gressel, who walked and stole second, hustled home off Brianna Wells’ fielder’s choice, Butterfield tripled home Wells and came home after the throw to third went out of play.

Junior shortstop Katie Smolka said the support for nearly two dozen St. Timothy’s classmates, who stormed the field after the final out Thursday, was huge.

“Even in the innings we were struggling and the momentum was with Annapolis, they were so supportive, so loud, so energetic." said Smolka. “I think our team’s grit and perseverance…we knew they were four innings left.”

Smolka had the lone hit in a four-run seventh, extending St. Timothy’s advantage to 11-4. Bilgera and Castro induced bases-loaded walks and Gressel was hit by a pitch, plating another run.

Annapolis Area Christian (13-3), looking for its first crown since 2013, didn’t concede. The Eagles got the first four batters on base including Lydia Proulx’s RBI single, to pull to 11-6.

But a double play and a fly ball to right ended Annapolis Area Christian’s season. Ashlynn Case had a two-run single for the Eagles, who defeated St. Timothy’s, 6-5, during the regular season.

Annapolis Area Christian coach George Billett said St. Timothy’s was able to figure out his senior pitcher Brooke Fitzgerald.

“The momentum turned,” said Annapolis Area Christian coach George Billett. “That one inning they were on fire, hitting the ball in the gaps. It was a pitcher’s game that first game.”

St. Timothy’s was hoping for a breakthrough this spring after reaching the semifinals in 2023.

Mission accomplished.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Smoka, a three-year starter. “We really worked so hard over the last few years,” said Butterfield. “This is such a big payoff.”

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