Focus on Sports
Skipjacks come back to sweep Anne Arundel

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

WYE MILLS – The comeback is making a comeback. At least, it seemed all the rage Monday afternoon at Chesapeake College.

The Skipjack women´s softball team trailed 5-0 before it even batted in the opening game of a doubleheader against 2006 conference champion Anne Arundel Community College. Chesapeake, however, earned an 8-7 win on the strength of a four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Given those first-game heroics, a 2-0 deficit in Game 2 hardly seemed insurmountable – and it wasn´t. Kim Towers blasted a tie-breaking, two-run double in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Skipjacks held on for a 4-3 victory to sweep the Pioneers (11-17 overall, 9-5 Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference).

"It´s really an uplifting feeling," said Towers, who drove in three of Chesapeake´s four runs in Game 2. "This is a real confidence-booster, especially after having such a long weekend."

Chesapeake managed just a split with struggling CCBC-Dundalk on Saturday, then dropped a doubleheader to Frederick Community College on Sunday by a combined score of 22-11. That made Monday´s sweep of Anne Arundel a critical momentum-builder as the Skipjacks (13-13 overall, 10-6 league) prepare for the upcoming NJCAA Region XX Division II tournament.

"They way we came out against Dundalk and Frederick was totally different from the way we came out today," said Chesapeake head coach Melissa Thompson. "You could see it. We were ready today. The sophomores did not want to go out losing their last home game."

The Pioneers helped out Chesapeake´s seventh-inning comeback in Game 1. Pioneer pitcher Kristie Hurman issued a leadoff walk to Heather Lawrence, and Lawrence came around to score on three consecutive errors by Anne Arundel shortstop Jenn Diemer.

Beth Morris then hit a sacrifice fly that scored Towers, pulling the Skipjacks within 7-6. Amanda Lord followed with a single off Diemer´s glove – Chesapeake´s only hit in the four-run seventh – to plate Courtney Jackson with the tying run.

After Heather Duncan popped out, Liz Kinsey (2-for-3) drove a grounder toward third baseman Sam Waltz. When Waltz bobbled the ball, speedy Monette Malabet took off from third base and easily scored the winning run.

Each team finished with six hits. Lord earned the pitching victory with a complete-game effort that included one strikeout and just one walk.

Anne Arundel scored twice in the top of the first inning to again grab a quick lead in Game 2, but the Skipjacks pulled within 2-1 on Towers´ third-inning sacrifice fly and tied the game when Pioneer pitcher Lauren Dulay walked Kinsey with the bases loaded in the fifth.

The Skipjacks used infield hits by Ashcraft, Malabet, and Lawrence to start their sixth-inning rally, then used Towers´ laser-like double – which one-hopped off the left-center field fence – to take a 4-2 lead.

"Using a composite bat, you can tell when you´ve hit it well," said Towers, who knew she had connected on her double. "It´s just a solid feeling."

Chesapeake then had to survive a seventh-inning comeback by the Pioneers, who pushed across a run and had runners at second and third with two outs, but Shannon Connell´s groundout to Kinsey at first ended the game.

Lawrence was the winning pitcher, throwing a four-hitter with seven strikeouts, a walk, and a hit batsman. She also had two hits and scored twice. Hurman and Dulay combined on a three-hitter in a losing effort.

Thompson said she hopes the Skipjacks take full advantage of the momentum they created by sweeping the Pioneers.

"Anne Arundel finished third in the Division III national tournament last year," noted Thompson, whose team finishes the regular season Wednesday with a doubleheader at Montgomery College/Rockville. "It´s good to get these wins going into the regional tournament."

Frederick CC 12, Chesapeake College 6

WYE MILLS – Michelle Bateman´s grand slam highlighted a five-run first inning in Game 1, setting the tone for the Cougars´ sweep Sunday afternoon.

Jen Garey went 3-for-3, including her league-leading fifth homer, to pace the Skipjacks. Losing pitcher Amanda Lord, who allowed 16 hits and a walk in a complete-game effort, hit a two-run homer for her home run of the season.

Frederick CC 10, Chesapeake College 5

WYE MILLS – Beth Morris went 3-for-4, including a two-run homer, and drove in three runs, and Kim Towers went 2-for-4, but it wasn´t enough to prevent a Frederick sweep.

Tonya Gittings went 2-for-4 with a solo homer to pace Frederick´s eight-hit attack.

Chesapeake College 7, CCBC-Dundalk 2

DUNDALK – Jen Gary (two RBI), Heather Lawrence (triple, RBI), and Laura Foster (RBI) each went 2-for-4 to back winning pitcher Amanda Lord´s seven-hit complete game in the first game of Saturday´s doubleheader.

Chesapeake broke open a 3-2 game with a three-run sixth inning as Beth Morris (double), Foster (single), Lord (single), and Lawrence (triple) had run-scoring hits.

CCBC-Dundalk 5, Chesapeake College 3

DUNDALK – The Lions put together a three-run fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie and salvage a split of Saturday´s doubleheader.

Teresa Burnham tripled to drive in one run and scored another in Dundalk´s fifth-inning explosion.

Heather Duncan hit a two-run homer, Jen Garey had a solo blast and Beth Morris went 2-for-3 to pace the Skipjacks. Losing pitcher Heather Lawrence allowed eight hits and two walks while striking out nine.

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