Skipjacks rally to earn softball sweep
Chesapeake erases 5-0 deficit in chilly Harford nightcap
BEL AIR It only took two women’s softball games to find out that this year’s Skipjacks know how to mount a comeback.
Chesapeake College erased a 5-0 deficit over the last four innings of Sunday’s nightcap while sweeping host Harford Community College, 15-4 and 9-5. Winning pitcher Cheyenne Riley blanked the Owls on one hit over the last four innings and Darian McCoy delivered what proved to be the game-winning hit as part of a three-run, sixth-inning rally.
"I’d prefer we never have to prove that, but it was nice to see," said Chesapeake head coach Durrie Hayes, whose team also erased an early, 3-2 deficit in the opener. "Some years you have teams that don’t have that confidence to come back, but our girls never slowed down."
Hayes was also impressed with how his players adapted to the weather conditions.
"That’s the first time I’ve ever let my players play defense with sweatshirts on," said Hayes. "It was in the mid-40s, but there is no doubt in my mind the wind-chill was down in the mid-30s. When the sun wasn’t out and it wasn’t a lot of the time it was freezing."
Harford’s Game 2 pitcher, Deanna Butler, used off-speed deliveries to blank the Skipjacks for the opening three innings while holding them hitless until the fifth. Trailing 5-1, Chesapeake (2-0 overall, 2-0 league) scored three time in the fifth to pull within 5-4 and took the lead with its three-run sixth.
Samantha Greenwell had a run-scoring hit off Butler’s glove and Lisa Hood added a two-run single during the fifth-inning rally. Sarah Spicher led off the sixth with a double and scored on Amber LaBille’s double to tie the game. McCoy (2-for-4) plated LaBille with the go-ahead run and Riley added a run-scoring hit to give the Skipjacks a 7-5 lead.
Spicher (two RBI) had a sacrifice fly and Lavin Kulina executed a suicide squeeze to account for a pair of seventh-inning insurance runs.
"Jay (Chance, assistant coach) has done a nice job with the hitters and that really showed in the second game," said Hayes. "We had two sacrifices and a suicide squeeze and got them down. It’s really nice when you can execute."
While Riley’s line in her first collegiate start may not have been impressive she yielded five earned runs on six hits with four walks and four strikeouts Hayes was pleased with the way she regrouped after a slow start.
"She just shut them down over the last four innings," Hayes said of Riley, who also went 2-for-3 at the plate.
LaBille pitched the first five innings of the six-inning win in Game 1, allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks with five strikeouts. Freshman newcomer Jessica Parks, who had only two practices under her belt, pitched a perfect sixth inning with one strikeout.
"She’s got the potential to really help us," said Hayes of Parks. "Seven of the 10 pitches she threw were strikes."
Chesapeake banged out 15 hits off Harford hurler Megan Appold in the opener.
"We hit the ball really well in the first game," said Hayes.
Michelle Lawrenson and Erin Scarborough each had three hits, two doubles, and three RBI, while Spicher (solo homer, double) and Riley each had two hits and two RBI. Kulina (double) and LaBille also had two hits apiece, and McCoy had a double.
Brittany Kinnear went 5-for-8 in the doubleheader for Harford (0-9, 0-2).
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