Harford falls victim to Ruf seventh inning in ’Jacks win
Sophomore drives in winning run as Chesapeake softball team earns split
BEL AIR - You could say the Owls had a Ruf seventh inning.
Chesapeake College sophomore center fielder Lauren Ruf’s two-out single scored Diana Dieter to cap a three-run rally Wednesday and lift the Skipjacks to a 5-4 women’s softball victory over host Harford Community College. Jen Garey’s leadoff double and Heather Duncan’s one-out homer off losing pitcher Katie Irwin had tied the score after Harford took a 4-2 lead into the seventh.
"They don’t give up – and they win in the least likely of circumstances," said Chesapeake head coach Durrie Hayes, whose team lost the second game, 8-3, as the Owls earned a split. "Diana bats eighth and Lauren bats ninth, which is not usually where you get your game-winning rallies. And against Prince George’s we were down four runs with two outs in the seventh when our six, seventh, eighth, and ninth hitters got us going."
Ruf victimized the Owls again in the bottom of the seventh after Harford had loaded the bases with no outs, catching a liner in center field and doubling a runner off second base for the second out. Winning pitcher Liz Kinsey then induced a game-ending groundout.
Chesapeake had nearly identical rallies for its first two runs, with Kim Towers getting hit by Irwin pitches in both the first and third innings and working her way around the bases without any Skipjack hits. She scored in the first inning on a wild pitch and in the third on a Kinsey groundout, but Harford sandwiched a three-run second inning between those scores to take a 3-2 lead.
The Owls added what appeared to be a fifth-inning insurance run, stretching the lead to 4-2.
Duncan, Ruf and Kinsey each finished with two hits. Kinsey gave up only six hits and struck out three, but also walked 10 and hit three batters.
Laura Foster hit a two-run homer and Jordan Glessner had a run-scoring hit in Game 2, but those were just about the only highlights for the Skipjacks (4-12 overall, 4-6 Maryland JuCo). Foster took the loss, allowing nine hits and six walks with three strikeouts.
The split gave Chesapeake three wins in its last four games after a 1-11 start that included five losses to nationally ranked teams. Hayes said he is very pleased with the team’s progress.
"We turned two double plays and picked two runners off base (against Harford). That’s going in the right direction," said Hayes.
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