Skipjacks make impression, reach CSM softball semis
Lord named to all-tournament team as Chesapeake finishes 4-2
WALDORF The Skipjacks certainly know how to make a good first impression.
Chesapeake College’s softball team opened the season by finishing tied for third place in the 16-team CSM Invitational Tournament. The Skipjacks, who went 2-1 in Saturday’s pool play, won twice during Sunday’s single-elimination championship format before a 10-5 semifinal loss to Camden (N.J.) Community College.
Chesapeake (4-2) matched last season’s win total during the tournament, which second-year head coach Melissa Thompson said should give her team "a good ego boost."
"I think it alerts everybody else that we’re a threat," Thompson said after her team claimed the top finish among nine Maryland teams.
Amanda Lord, who hit .632 for the tournament and was named to the all-tournament team, and Heather Lawrence each notched two pitching victories for the Skipjacks. Katie Connolly and Kelly Henckel each batted .750 for the weekend, while Connolly drove in a team-high eight runs.
Softball rookie Monette Malabet turned in one of the most astonishing performances of the weekend, stealing seven bases to take the early Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference lead in that category. That’s not bad for a Chesapeake College women’s basketball player who only joined the softball team to return a favor.
"Monette told me, ’The softball team helped the basketball team out so I’m going to help out the softball team,’ " said Thompson, referring to how several softball players with little basketball experience joined the Skipjacks this winter to help the basketball team finish its season.
"She’s a wonderful kid to work with," added Thompson. "If she bunts the ball, there’s no stopping her. She didn’t get thrown out at all this weekend on a bunt. There was no secret to it everyone knew she was bunting and she still beat them out."
Malabet served as designated hitter for the Skipjacks’ second baseman, Kari Burns and Crystal Burns, who have helped solidify an infield featuring sophomores Henckel and Connolly at first and third, respectively. Fellow sophomores Katie LaNeve and Katie Satterlee are splitting time behind the plate and in the outfield while helping to provide leadership for the freshmen.
Thompson said she thought the Skipjacks would be much better this season after going 4-14 last spring.
"I knew coming in last year I wasn’t going to be able to recruit," said Thompson. "We had a great recruiting class this year. (Assistant coach) Bill (Faust) and Dr. (Ed) Baker (a Chesapeake professor) really helped a lot with bringing in this year’s recruiting class.
"It’s exciting to work with these girls," added Thompson. "We say, ’Practice is 3-to-5,’ and they stay until 6. They just don’t want to quit. It’s nice to work with passionate softball players."
Game summaries from the weekend follow:
Chesapeake 13, Frederick 0
Amanda Lord pitched a shutout, allowing two hits and two walks in a time-shortened, four-inning game, and helped herself by going 3-for-3 with a triple, three runs, and an RBI.
Heather Lawrence (home run, three runs, RBI), Katie Connolly (two triples, four RBI), and Beth Morris (four RBI) each had two hits for the Skipjacks.
Camden (N.J.) CC 4, Chesapeake 1
Katie Connolly went 3-for-3 with a double, but Camden pitcher Randi Cifelli was able to space out 12 hits to hand Chesapeake its first loss.
Chesapeake 5, Del Tech-Stanton 3
Heather Lawrence singled home Katie Satterlee to break a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the third inning.
Lawrence also notched the pitching win in relief, while Amanda Lord went 2-for-2 with a walk.
Chesapeake 9, CSM 3
Beth Morris (two doubles) and Kelly Henckel each went 3-for-4, with Morris doubling home Heather Lawrence to break a 3-3 tie as part of a four-run fourth inning.
Winning pitcher Amanda Lord struck out seven with no walks while allowing six hits in the six-inning game.
Chesapeake 5, Frederick 1
Courtney Jackson (two runs) and Katie Satterlee (two-run double) each went 2-for-3 to pace the Skipjacks.
Heather Lawrence struck out eight while spacing eight hits and two walks over six innings.
Camden 10, Chesapeake 5
Joanna Hyland had two doubles and four RBI as Camden eliminated the Skipjacks in the semifinals.
Amanda Lord (two-run single) and Katie Connolly each went 2-for-4 for the Skipjacks.
The Skipjacks host Montgomery College/Rockville Saturday in a noon doubleheader.
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