Gritty Skipjacks pull out split with Catonsville
WYE MILLS – Shayla Loudermilk wasn't even supposed to play after spraining her left ankle Wednesday against CCBC-Dundalk. Yet play she did, wrapping the ankle tightly, stuffing it in her cleat, and logging all 13 innings of Friday's women's softball doubleheader with CCBC-Catonsville.
Brigitte Garvey probably shouldn't have played, judging by her need to call time after reaching second base on Loudermilk's fourth-inning single to vomit twice. After being replaced by the already injured Samantha Greenwell – who then scored what proved to the winning run on Gina Fasano's two-out single – Garvey returned to play the final three innings.
That was the kind of effort the Skipjacks displayed against a Catonsville team ranked 13th nationally. It paid off as Chesapeake College rebounded from a 9-0, first-game loss to blank the Cardinals, 2-0, as Lindsey Poore pitched a four-hit shutout.
"We're looking to win the conference," Fasano said of the Skipjacks' high-intensity effort. "We needed to win that second game."
Catonsville was 4-0 against the Skipjacks last season, including a regular-season sweep that earned the Cardinals the state title and two wins at regionals that sent Catonsville to the NJCAA Division II championship tournament. The Cardinals (21-5 overall, 13-1 league) extended their winning streak to 19 with Friday's Game 1 victory, but Chesapeake (18-3, 9-1) snapped that streak and drew even in the league loss column with its gritty, Game 2 triumph.
"They were great," Chesapeake head coach Durrie Hayes said of his players after the split. "Sure, I would have liked to have swept them, but a split is not too darned bad. It's been a while since we've beaten them."
Ironically, Hagerstown Community College (13-9, 8-0) was the immediate beneficiary of the split. The Hawks are the last undefeated team in the conference standings, but still have doubleheaders against both Catonsville and Chesapeake on their schedule.
"The fact is that we've got to win out and we still have some good teams left to play," said Hayes, whose team swept Anne Arundel Community College, 14-11 and 16-1, on Saturday. "We're capable of doing that. I can't believe we're going to play anyone tougher than Catonsville."
Catonsville looked particularly tough in the opener as Cardinals ace Samantha O'Connor tossed a two-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts and two walks. O'Connor and Loudermilk were locked in a scoreless tie until the fifth, but the Cardinals scored nine runs over the final two innings to invoke the slaughter rule after six innings.
"Shayla pitched well that first game," said Hayes after Loudermilk allowed just six hits. "That score was not indicative of the game."
Cardinal Cali Hernandez had a two-run double in a five-run fifth aided by a pair of Chesapeake errors. Olivia Ravadge drilled a sixth-inning grand slam – set up in part by another Skipjack miscue – to complete Catonsville's win.
The opening innings of the nightcap resembled the start of Game 1, with the teams entering the home fourth locked in a scoreless tie. Chesapeake, however, flipped the script with single runs in the fourth and fifth.
Catonsville starter Bailey Rook walked Garvey leading off the home fourth. Loudermilk's one-out single moved Garvey to second, with Greenwell coming in as a pinch runner for Garvey.
Poore flew out to center for the second out, but Fasano singled to the fence in center to easily score Greenwell for a 1-0 lead. Hayes also tried to score Loudermilk on Fasano's hit, but she was gunned down at the plate to end the inning.
Fasano said she was fortunate enough to get an inside pitch from Rook that she could handle.
"She'd been throwing me outside all game," said Fasano. "I guess she must have made a mistake and threw it inside and I made the best of it. I was ready to hit it in a gap and get a run out of it."
Chesapeake added an insurance run in the fifth as Ali Jones singled up the middle with one out, took second on a Hannah Stringer sacrifice bunt, and scored when shortstop Amber Cluster's throw on Kaley Schreiber's grounder went wide of first base.
That was more than enough for Poore, who allowed just one runner to reach second base in the first six innings.
"I was just trying to hit all of my spots and not lose my intensity," said Poore, who got out of a two-on, one-out jam in the second thanks to a double play started by second baseman Schreiber. "We all knew they were a good team. We wanted to beat them at least once – although twice would have been nice."
Catonsville did produce a seventh-inning rally that put the tying runs on base. Crystal Heffington doubled with two outs and O'Connor smashed a drive that looked like it would get past Schreiber at second. Schreiber made a diving stop and threw from her knees a high throw that Fasano dropped for an error as Heffington took third.
Poore finished off the Cardinals by inducing Cluster into a game-ending pop-up to Garvey at short.
Chesapeake 14, Anne Arundel 11
ARNOLD – Kaley Schreiber (three hits), Stephanie Weyermiller and Shayla Loudermilk each hit a homer and a double as the Skipjacks powered past Anne Arundel in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader.
Lindsey Poore added two doubles and Gina Fasano had a double for Chesapeake.
Loudermilk was the winning pitcher in relief, allowing one hit over 4 2/3 innings with nine strikeouts.
Chesapeake 16, Anne Arundel 1 (five innings)
ARNOLD – Lindsey Poore hit her first homer and threw a one-hit complete game with eight strikeouts as the Skipjacks finished off Saturday's sweep.
Samantha Greenwell had a homer and a double for Chesapeake, which finished Game 2 with seven extra-base hits among its 18 hits. Gina Fasano had two doubles while Lindsey Budd and Brigitte Garvey (three hits) each added a double for the Skipjacks.
Chesapeake's Hannah Stringer collected a game-high four hits, all of them singles.
The Skipjacks have won three straight and 12 of their last 13 games.
Vineland 12, Holy Spirit 0
Brigitte Garvey drove in four runs and Kylie Finley knocked in two as the Fighting Clan earned their second consecutive home win, knocking off the Spartans. Both hitters...