For the first couple of innings in Thursday's Catholic League softball showdown between Conwell-Egan and Cardinal O'Hara, whatever one side's pitcher did, the opposing hurler replicated.
O'Hara's Molly Rafferty got a couple of Eagles to ground out in the top of the first, so Conwell-Egan's Gina Massaro went out and did the same to the Lions in the bottom of the inning.
Rafferty got a key strikeout in the first, and Massaro followed with one of her own.
There was a rhythm to this pitchers' duel. Three batters up, three batters down.
That is, until Massaro hit a double in the fourth inning. Pinch-runner Ashley George came across the plate two batters later, scoring the only run, as the Eagles defeated the host Lions, 1-0.
"You have to go out there trusting your defense, that they will do the job, which they proved in this game," Massaro said. "And to hit your spots. If [the batters] hit it, then just trust your defense."
Massaro threw a two-hit shutout, helping the Eagles (13-4, 9-1 league) ranked fifth in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, remain atop the Catholic League standings.
She also had two of the Eagles' six hits.
"I feel like I saw that ball really well and just got a hold of it," Massaro said.
Laura Christine, who had the game-winning RBI, went 2 for 3 at the plate.
O'Hara (11-4, 6-3) had chances late in the game to tie the score but couldn't capitalize, leaving six runners on base overall. In both the fourth and sixth innings, the Lions stranded a runner on third.
"We just didn't have that timely hit to push through, tie it up, and go ahead," O'Hara coach Bob Milliken said.
Each squad has two regular-season Catholic League games remaining before the playoffs begin May 13.
"They are a premier team," Milliken said of the Eagles. "That puts us in their league, as far as I am concerned."
Conwell-Egan 000 100 0 - 1 6 1
Cardinal O'Hara 000 000 0 - 0 2 0
WP: Gina Massaro. LP: Molly Rafferty. 2B: CE-Massaro; CO-Lauren DelRomano.