Spring trip helps ’Jacks earn impressive split
Chesapeake College gains split with Dundalk after tough, 10-game Florida swing
DUNDALK The Skipjacks’ spring trip is already paying dividends back home.
Chesapeake College split a Monday afternoon women’s softball doubleheader with highly regarded Community College of Baltimore County-Dundalk, and Skipjacks head coach Durrie Hayes gave at least part of the credit to all the tough competition his team faced in Florida.
"Dundalk has one of the best pitchers in the conference (Megan Henne) but we saw three all-Americans in Florida," said Hayes. "That’s the value of playing competition like we faced on our spring trip. When you’re right in the game with some of the best teams in the country and you win a couple, it’s proves to the girls what they are capable of doing this season."
The Skipjacks didn’t beat Henne, but held their own against the sophomore star in Dundalk’s 8-5 victory in Monday’s opener. Henne finished with 12 strikeouts in a complete-game effort, but the Skipjacks managed four hits, including a two-run double by Erica Kinney and a run-scoring single from Jordan Glessner that kept the game interesting.
"She (Henne) finished in the top 10 in the country last year in earned-run average, but our girls battled against her," said Hayes.
Chesapeake won the nightcap behind its own ace as Jordan Wright spaced seven hits with two walks while striking out seven in a complete-game, 8-3 win.
Chesapeake scored all the runs it needed during a five-run second inning. Jill Piasecki had a run-scoring double, Kinney had an RBI sac fly, and losing pitcher Amy Hamilton gave up a pair of bases-loaded walks as the Skipjacks built a comfortable lead.
Dundalk pulled within 5-3 with a three-run fourth, but Piasecki had a two-run single and scored on a wild pitch as the Skipjacks regained control with a three-run rally of their own in the sixth.
Piasecki, Kinney, Wright and Antoinette Hughes each had two hits in Game 2 for the Skipjacks. Dundalk’s Kara Malvaso went 3-for-3.
The Skipjacks (4-8 overall, 1-1 Maryland JuCo) went 3-7 during their spring trip, but that included two games against three-time defending Division III national champion Monroe (N.Y.) Community College and two more against nationally ranked Lansing (Mich.) Community College.
"I’m really proud of them. They went out there, played their best and did very well," said Hayes, whose team lost two games by two runs or less on the trip.
Lansing, ranked fifth in the latest NJCAA Division II poll, handed the Skipjacks 6-1 and 10-0 losses in their first two games. Chesapeake, however, rebounded to beat Lackawanna (Pa.) Community College, 5-3, with a five-run sixth inning that erased a 3-0 deficit.
The Skipjacks’ entire sixth-inning rally came with two outs as Julia Carr delivered an RBI single, Piasecki blasted a two-run double, and Hughes came through with what proved to be a game-winning, two-run single. Wright earned the pitching victory.
Lackawanna bounced back for an 8-0 win in the nightcap.
Piasecki threw a five-hit shutout and drove in two runs as the Skipjacks defeated Tompkins Cortland (N.Y.) Community College, 3-0, before Macomb Community College edged Chesapeake, 6-5. Anna Morris went 3-for-4 in the Macomb loss.
Waubonsee Community College then edged the Skipjacks, 5-3, with Wright’s two hits the main highlight for the Skipjacks. Chesapeake defeated Tompkins Cortland again, 3-2, as Piasecki hit a three-run homer and winning pitcher Melanie Buck spaced five hits over five innings. Wright earned a save with two hitless relief innings.
Monroe, the Division III powerhouse, then swept the Skipjacks, 5-1 and 13-6. Wright went 3-for-3 and Piasecki had another home run in the opener.
The Skipjacks stayed close in the early innings of the nightcap, trailing only 7-6 starting the third, but couldn’t keep pace down the stretch. Wright went 3-for-4 while Buck and Carr each had two hits for Chesapeake in the nightcap.
"Ten games in five days with 11 kids they gave me everything they had, but they didn’t have anything left in that last game," said Hayes. "Everybody we played was tough, but we showed we’re a lot better team than we were last year. We lost twice to Tompkins Cortland last year, and we were slaughter-ruled by Waubonsee last year. We’re definitely a better team."
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