Athletics News

Softball

Lions turn tables on Chesapeake
Dundalk uses Skipjacks’ specialty – a seventh-inning rally – to cap sweep

WYE MILLS – This time, the Skipjacks ended up on the wrong end of a seventh-inning rally.

Tifnie Karopchinsky’s two-out, two-run bloop single to short right field capped a three-run seventh inning as Community College Baltimore County-Dundalk rallied to beat Chesapeake College, 7-5, Friday afternoon in the second game of a women’s softball doubleheader. The Lions (14-5 overall, 12-5 Maryland JuCo) won the opener, 13-0, in the continuation of a game suspended from last Saturday.

"It was outside, so I just went with it," said Karopchinsky of the pitch she turned into the game-winning hit. Of the Lions’ comeback from a 5-2 deficit, Karopchinsky said, "It was pretty sweet. We played together as a team."

The Skipjacks – who have specialized in seventh-inning, game-winning rallies this season – managed just one base runner in the bottom of the seventh inning.

"We’re supposed to win in the seventh, not lose in the seventh," Chesapeake head coach Durrie Hayes said after the game. "Things were just a little mixed up today."

While Karopchinsky provided the game-winning hit, she had to share the heroine’s role with Lions pitcher Megan Henne. Henne, who posted the shutout in the opener, didn’t start Game 2. However, Dundalk head coach Les Dowling brought her in quickly after Laura Foster’s first-inning homer and Kim Towers’ second-inning grand slam gave the Skipjacks a 5-2 lead.

Henne shut out the Skipjacks (6-14, 6-8) on two hits over the final five innings.

"Megan’s one of the top pitchers we’ve faced all season," said Hayes. "She had command of a bunch of different pitches, and everything moved. She clearly shut us down."

Foster’s solo shot, off Dundalk starting pitcher Carol Dobrzycki, pulled Chesapeake within 2-1 after Casey Wheat’s two-run single in the top of the first off Foster gave the Lions the early lead.

Jordan Glessner, Lauren Ruff, and Nikki Ruark all singled off Dobrzycki ahead of Towers’ second grand slam of the season, leading Dowling to end Henne’s break from mound duty.

"I probably should have started her (Henne) both games, but that’s hindsight," said Dowling.

The Lions, who scored an unearned run in the fourth, left the bases loaded in the fifth. Dundalk then pulled within 5-4 in the sixth as Karopchinsky singled, took second on a walk to Henne, stole third and came home on a wild pitch, but the Lions would have had a much bigger inning had it not been for a defensive gem by second baseman Amber Johnson.

Casey Perry, batting with one out, lined a shot toward second base. Johnson caught Perry’s liner for the second out, then beat Henne to the second base bag to complete the inning-ending, unassisted double play. That inning also included a nice defense play by shortstop Glessner, who caught an Angel Martinez liner for the first out.

"We have a good-hitting team – we just weren’t getting the hits when we needed them," Dowling said of the missed opportunities in the fifth and sixth innings.

The Lions, however, cashed in on their final opportunity in the seventh. Foster struck out Jessica Schutt to start the seventh, but walked Jacqueline Lynch with one out. Jamie Eckenrode then singled up the middle, moving Lynch to third.

Wheat followed with a grounder to second, and Johnson elected to go home with her throw. Lynch scored ahead of the throw to tie the game as Eckenrode went to third base. Wheat then stole second.

Foster struck out Jaime Schmidt for the second out, but Karopchinsky followed with her two-run single, which was just too high for a leaping Johnson to catch.

The Skipjacks brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh after Johnson was hit with a one-out Henne delivery, but Henne struck out Towers and Foster to end the game.

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