Athletics News

Softball

Skipjacks learn from their national experience
Nine freshmen could help Chesapeake College return to softball nationals in 2010

NORMAL, Ill. – The Skipjacks gained in wisdom, if not wins, at the NJCAA Division II women’s softball national tournament.

Top-ranked Phoenix (Ariz.) College blanked Chesapeake College, 8-0, in Thursday’s opening round of the tournament and LSU-Eunice eliminated the Skipjacks with an 11-2 victory that afternoon. However, Chesapeake head coach Durrie Hayes believes the experience of playing in this year’s national tournament may help next year’s squad earn a repeat invitation.

"It was good for our team to see teams like Phoenix and LSU-Eunice, which are both ranked in the top five in the country," said Hayes, who had nine freshmen among his dozen players this season. "It was also good for us to see that we’re as strong as a lot of teams that make it to nationals – because there were anywhere from several to a bunch of teams that we were as good as, in my opinion. That will help us next year."

Phoenix outhit Chesapeake, 14-3, but held only a 2-0 lead before taking control with a two-run fifth and ending the game with four sixth-inning runs. Teddy Barry (4-for-4, three runs, RBI), Lacy Goodman (3-for-3, three runs, three RBI) and Ashlie Rosenberg (2-for-4, run, four RBI) each hit a home run and combined for nine hits.

Losing pitcher Jordan Wright, who struck out four and walked three in a complete-game effort, singled twice while Antoinette Hughes had the Skipjacks’ third hit. Brianna Robles struck out 12 and walked just one while pitching the six-inning, complete-game shutout for Phoenix.

"Their pitcher threw 62, 63 miles per hour. We just don’t see that kind of pitching," said Hayes.

The Skipjacks trailed just 3-2 until the fourth inning of their game with LSU-Eunice, but Eunice took command with a four-run fourth and wrapped up the win with a run in the sixth and three more in the seventh. Rhea Person (run, two RBI), Hayley Sanchez (three runs, RBI), and Chasity Gary (run, RBI) each had two hits to pace LSU.

Winning pitcher Hannah Latiolais spaced seven hits, struck out seven, and walked just one batter.

Lauren Howell went 2-for-2, scoring one run and driving in the other during Chesapeake’s two-run second inning. That rally briefly pulled the Skipjacks into a 2-2 tie, but LSU-Eunice scored a run in the visitors’ third to take the lead for good.

Anna Morris also had two hits for Chesapeake. Julia Carr (run), Melanie Buck (RBI), Wright and Hughes each added one hit for the Skipjacks.

Wright also took the Game 2 loss, allowing three runs on three hits in three innings with two strikeouts and five walks. Buck pitched the final four innings, allowing eight runs (only five earned) on eight hits with two strikeouts and four walks.

"The scores weren’t indicative of the competitiveness of the games, particularly in the first game," said Hayes. "They represented our region very well. I’m proud of our girls and what they accomplished this season."

Notes: Delaware Tech was also eliminated in two straight. Second-ranked Lansing (Mich.) Community College blanked Tech, 7-0, and Mississippi Gulf Coast eliminated the Road Runners, 3-1.

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