’Jacks ousted from region with 10-inning loss
Chesapeake goes 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position
NORTH EAST A week earlier, Becca Wooten had ripped a walk-off double as the Skipjacks handed Hagerstown Community College a 10-inning women’s softball defeat. It looked like Wooten might deal the Hawks another 10-inning loss in a win-or-go-home NJCAA Region XX tournament game Sunday afternoon when she launched a two-out shot toward the left-field fence with Becca English on third and Chesapeake College trailing, 3-2.
Instead, Hagerstown left fielder Brittany Heller reached up a couple of feet short of the fence and caught Wooten’s liner for the last out of the losers’ bracket final. And the Skipjacks were left to wonder whether just one hit with runners in scoring position a category in which Chesapeake finished 0-for-10 might have extended their season.
"We just couldn’t get hits when we needed them," said Chesapeake head coach Durrie Hayes, whose squad out-hit Hagerstown, 10-7. "We had a good year (24-19 and third place in Region XX), but we went into a slump at the wrong time."
After beating second-seeded CCBC-Catonsville Saturday morning in the first round of the double-elimination tournament, the Skipjacks scored just four runs in 17 innings while losing 3-2 games to both top-seeded Cecil College and sixth-seeded Hagerstown.
"We had four doubles and a home run, but we couldn’t string hits together," Hayes said of Sunday’s loss after his team left 11 runners on base and seven in scoring position.
Hagerstown took an early 2-0 lead, but the Skipjacks extended the game by scoring single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Janean Lowenberger (3-for-5) singled and scored on English’s fifth-inning double, and Wooten homered off Hagerstown hurler Megan Peomroy in the sixth to create a 2-2 tie.
When the game was still tied after nine innings, international rules which meant each inning started with a runner on second base took effect. Hawk Damara McDonough started the top of the 10th on second, advanced to third on Hillary Ware’s hit just behind shortstop, and scored on Brittany Larrick’s single.
Chesapeake stayed within a run thanks to a 6-3-2 double play as first baseman Anna Morris threw home to catcher Tiffeny Ricks to nail Ware as she tried to score on a groundout. English, playing shortstop, then faked a throw to first on the next play to start a successful rundown that ended the inning.
English, who started the bottom of the 10th on second base, went to third on a Ricks groundout. Sarah Spicher then popped up for the second out, setting up Wooten’s bid for a game-ending homer.
Ricks and Morris each had two hits and a double to join Lowenberger with multiple hits. Amber Labille pitched all 10 innings for the Skipjacks, allowing just seven hits and two walks while striking out five.
"Amber pitched a great game," said Hayes.
Notes: The five sophomores who played the last two years for the Skipjacks Lowenberger, English, Ricks, Kelsi Robinson, and Alycia Vansant won a school-record 50 games. Morris, who played in 2009 and then came back this season, won 47 games in addition to playing on Chesapeake’s 2009 region championship squad.. . .
Sunday’s loss denied the Skipjacks their third straight Region XX title game appearance.
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