CSM soft­ball reaches Re­gion XX fi­nal

Knocks out top seed, falls to Po­tomac State

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com Twit­ter: tblack­somds1

One year af­ter they had a los­ing record and failed to earn a berth in the Re­gion XX soft­ball tour­na­ment, the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land soft­ball team reached the cham­pi­onship round of the play­offs be­fore fi­nally be­ing up­ended.

CSM (24-20 over­all) opened the tour­na­ment Satur­day af­ter­noon with a 1-0 set­back to top-seeded Ch­e­sa­peake. Cat Ra­m­ag­nano worked Hawks fresh­man ace Lori Sturgill, a McDonough High School grad­u­ate from Wal­dorf, for a lead­off walk, took sec­ond on an er­ror and scored on a ground­out by Vic­to­ria Hughes for what proved to be the only run of the game.

Sturgill lim­ited Ch­e­sa­peake to one un­earned run on two hits, but Ch­e­sa­peake ace Rachael Mil­li­gan blanked the Hawks on three hits and two walks while fan­ning 12 bat­ters. The nar­row set­back gave the Hawks con­fi­dence that they could ad­vance through the loser’s bracket.

“Their lead­off bat­ter worked Lori for a walk and al­most 75 per­cent of time in our game those lead­off walks turn into runs,” CSM head coach Jim Cleary said. “They moved her over and got her home on a ground­out. That was it. That was the only run of the game. We only had three hits.”

CSM re­bounded to de­feat Fred­er­ick 8-2 in the first game of the loser’s bracket as Strugill pre­vailed while al­low­ing two runs on six hits. First base­man Al­li­son McLane, a Chop­ti­con High School grad­u­ate from Me­chan­icsville, went 3 for 4 and Am­ber Whe­lan, a Thomas Stone High School grad­u­ate from Wal­dorf, went 1 for 3 but had three runs bat­ted in. The Hawks scored four runs in the sec­ond and added four more in the fourth to coast to the vic­tory.

Then on Sun­day morn­ing CSM met a fa­mil­iar foe in the loser’s bracket fi­nal: Ch­e­sa­peake. The tour­na­ment’s top seed had been up­ended by Po­tomac State (W.Va.) in the win­ner’s bracket fi­nal. This time the Hawks were poised for the up­set and they gave their ace a lit­tle of­fen­sive sup­port.

CSM scored two runs in the fourth and one more in the fifth to stake Sturgill to a 3-0 lead and the fresh­man lim­ited Ch­e­sa­peake to two runs on three hits and the Hawks knocked the top seed from the tour­na­ment with a 3-2 vic­tory. Jas­myn Berry, a Great Mills High School grad­u­ate from Lex­ing­ton Park, went 2 for 3 with a home run and Kait­lyn Cave, a La Plata High School grad­u­ate from Char­lotte Hall, and Whe­lan had dou­bles.

CSM ad­vanced to the cham­pi­onship round of the Re­gion XX tour­na­ment to face Po­tomac State, where the Hawks would need two straight vic­to­ries to garner the ti­tle. But Po­tomac State made quick work of Sturgill and the Hawks. The CSM fresh­man could not es­cape the first, al­low­ing five runs on five hits with­out re­tir­ing a bat­ter and Po­tomac State added seven more runs later against Whe­lan to forge a 12-0 vic­tory.

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