Sports Shorts for March 30

by Aaron Garcia

Mavs softball team not making excuses this season

After losing a stable of seniors from last year’s roster that basically helped build the softball program at Marvin Ridge, the Mavs resembled a team undergoing a rebuilding process this season.

But rather than start from scratch, Marvin Ridge jumped out to an impressive 5-1 start to the season, with wins over Charlotte teams Providence, Olympic, Charlotte Catholic and Hickory Grove. The success continued throughout the Mavs’ non-conference slate, and Marvin Ridge entered its Southern Carolina 3A/4A conference opener against undefeated Porter Ridge (12-0) on March 23 with a 7-3 overall record.

Despite their relative youth and inexperience, the Mavs battled the undefeated Pirates to a 0-0 tie headed into the bottom of the seventh inning. The Pirates got a runner on base and moved her home late in the game to clinch the 1-0 win.

Despite the loss, Mavs coach Kevin Allran was more than pleased with his team’s effort, especially against Porter Ridge, which is one of the state’s top Class 4A squads.

“Both teams played very well,” said Allran. “Both pitchers (Porter Ridge’s Lexi Davis and Marvin Ridge’s Peyton Jordan) battled their butts off, and the ball didn’t fall our way this time.”

The bright side for the Mavs is that they should benefit from the return of three players in the coming weeks. Alexis Marko missed the game because of a school trip to Ireland, Claudia Spinelli was absent due to an illness, and Madison Arroyo was out with a concussion.

Allran said his team’s performance, especially in light of the trio’s absence, was indicative of what has allowed his team to exceed expectations this season.

“We’re scrappy – we’re not going to back down,” said Allran. “We’ve been getting after it. We’re going to do the best we can. Nobody’s going to feel sorry for us, and we know that.”

The Mavs suffered another 1-0 loss, this time to Cuthbertson on March 26, before rebounding for a 1-0 win against Parkwood the following day. Marvin Ridge, currently 8-4 overall and 2-1 in league play, is slated to visit Weddington on Tuesday, April 3 before hosting Anson on Thursday, April 5.

Waxhaw natives to receive support from former high school teammates

On Saturday, March 31, the Charlotte Catholic boys lacrosse team will travel to Maryland to face perennial power Severn School. After that, the Cougars will travel to Loyola University in Maryland to watch the Greyhounds host Ohio State.

Three Charlotte Catholic alums – and Union County natives – will play in the game.

Waxhaw products Mike and Matt Sawyer are key players for Loyola. Mike Sawyer is an attacker who leads the Greyhounds with 36 points (29 goals, seven assists), while his brother, Matt, has appeared in all seven of the team’s games.

Meanwhile, another longtime Waxhaw resident, Michael Italiano, a former Charlotte Catholic midfielder, has appeared in all nine of Ohio State’s contests and has tallied two goals and an assist.

Though he has former players on each of the college teams, Charlotte Catholic coach Bo Turner left little doubt about which team would receive his greatest support.

“I can’t wait (for the game),” said Turner. “I told the Sawyer boys and Italiano that the first one to send me either a Loyola shirt or an Ohio State shirt, that’s who I’m pulling for. I might have to cut them in half and sew them together.

“It’ll be fun. I can’t wait to see those guys.”

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