CSM softball reaches Region XX final
Knocks out top seed, falls to Potomac State
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.