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Softball

Skipjacks LaBille, Riley each blank Cecil
Chesapeake still unbeaten in conference play with 4-0 and 2-0 wins

WYE MILLS – A little offense can go a long way when Amber LaBille and Cheyenne Riley are your pitchers.

LaBille threw a three-hitter in the opener and Riley tossed a five-hitter in the nightcap Wednesday afternoon as Chesapeake College swept defending state champion Cecil College, 4-0 and 2-0. LaBille and Riley also pitched matching shutouts in the Skipjacks’ previous doubleheader against Hagerstown, and Riley has three straight shutouts to her credit.

"I knew Cecil was going to be a big game, so I had to be on my game," said LaBille, who struck out 10 and walked three.

Riley, meanwhile, had no strikeouts and just one walk, forcing the Seahawks to adjust to a different style of pitching in the nightcap.

"I know I don’t throw fast, so when we play good teams I have to make my pitches move," said Riley.

The sweep kept Chesapeake (14-4 overall, 6-0 league) perfect in Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference action and dropped Cecil (9-7, 4-4) four games behind the leaders in the loss column. Anne Arundel (17-3, 6-0) and CCBC-Catonsville (19-7, 6-0) started play Wednesday as the only other teams perfect in conference play.

"It certainly puts us in a good position, as early as it is in the conference season," Chesapeake head coach Durrie Hayes said of the sweep.

The Skipjacks scored early in both games and made those runs stand up.

Chesapeake took a 4-0 lead after two innings in the opener as the Seahawks committed three errors during the Skipjacks’ first seven at bats.

Danni Hintermeister reached on an error, stole second and scored on Erin Scarborough’s hit to give Chesapeake a 1-0, first-inning lead. LaBille (2-for-3) then opened the second with a single and scored as the Seahawks committed two straight errors. Hintermeister delivered a two-out, two-run triple to make it 4-0.

While there was no scoring over the final five innings, the Seahawks had their chances.

Cecil had two runners on with one or less outs in the third, fifth and sixth innings, including two-on, no-out threat in the sixth. LaBille squelched all three threats with inning-ending strikeouts, and was aided in the fifth by right fielder Michelle Lawrenson’s diving catch of Stephanie Merritt’s sinking liner.

"They (Cecil) had a couple of opportunities in Game 1 and Amber shut them down," noted Hayes. "It’s all about hitting your spots."

"We had a couple of opportunities and didn’t do what we had to do," agreed Cecil head coach Ed Durham. "That’s partly on us, but it’s also a tribute to them."

Chesapeake scored both of its Game 2 runs in the first inning. Hintermeister singled, stole second and went to third when Cecil shortstop Brooke Conard bobbled Scarborough’s grounder. Scarborough then stole second and Hintermeister scored on the play thanks to an errant throw to second.

LaBille plated Scarborough with a two-out hit to complete the Game 2 scoring.

"Out of the six runs, five might have been unearned," said Durham. "That’s a tribute to them. They put the pressure on us, and both Amber and Cheyenne did a great job."

Lawrenson had two hits for the Skipjacks in Game 2 as Chesapeake finished with a 7-5 advantage in hits.

As with Game 1, the Seahawks had opportunities to come back in the nightcap. Their best chance came in the sixth, when Chesapeake’s defense committed two errors to put runners at second and third with one out. Victoria Freeman hit a comebacker to Riley, who checked the runners before retiring Freeman, and Conard grounded out to end the threat.

Cecil pitchers Hannah Musick and Rachel Graves threw a six-hitter and a five-hitter, respectively, in Games 1 and 2.

"All four pitchers threw well today," said Durham.

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