Skip­jacks claim rare sweep of the Cardinals

Record Observer - - Sports - By RICHARD MID­CAP

Ch­e­sa­peake 5 — Ca­tonsville 1 Ch­e­sa­peake 2 — Ca­tonsville 0

WYE MILLS — Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege has a World Se­ries berth, shares of two state cham­pi­onships and ap­pear­ances in six of the last seven re­gion fi­nals un­der ninth-year head coach Dur­rie Hayes. What the Skip­jacks hadn’t been able to achieve was a sweep of peren­nial Re­gion XX power CCBC-Ca­tonsville. Un­til yes­ter­day. Ch­e­sa­peake took a pair from the Cardinals, 5-1 and 2-0, Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon to make an em­phatic, early sea­son state­ment. Sopho­more Rachael Mil­li­gan threw a one-hit­ter in the opener and fresh­man Chloe Day tossed a five-hit shutout in the night­cap for the Skip­jacks (10-3 over­all, 2-0 league), who backed their pitch­ers with er­ror­less de­fense and timely hit­ting.

“It’s pretty amaz­ing,” said sopho­more catcher Kris­ten Catlin, whose fifth-in­ning sin­gle broke a score­less tie in Game 2. “He [Hayes] just said it was the first time we’d swept them in maybe . . . for­ever.”

“I don’t know how long it’s been, but it’s nice,” short­stop Jenna Wil­ley said of the sweep. Wil­ley had a solo homer and an RBI sin­gle in the opener be­fore scor­ing a six­thin­ning in­surance run to help seal the Game 2 win.

Ca­tonsville (13-8, 5-2) came into the game with four straight shutouts, but Wil­ley ended that streak in the day’s first in­ning by tak­ing a two-out, 2-2 pitch from Kim­ber­lee Cook over the fence in left.

“She pitched it over the mid­dle/out­side, which is my fa­vorite pitch,” said Wil­ley, who fin­ished 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the opener.

“Jenna hit her home run into the wind,” Hayes said. “And it was a line drive.”

Wil­ley’s RBI sin­gle in the fourth scored Kristina Shank, who had sin­gled and stolen sec­ond, to make it 2-0. Shank (2-for-3, two runs) then de­liv­ered a two-run homer as part of a three-run fifth that broke the game open.

Sa­van­nah Miller also went 2-for-3 as part of Ch­e­sa­peake’s seven-hit at­tack in Game 1.

Tyler Mer­ritt broke up Mil­li­gan’s no-hit­ter with a swing­ing bunt sin­gle lead­ing off the sixth. The Cardinals scored a sev­enth-in­ning run to spoil Mil­li­gan’s shutout bid, but the run was oth­er­wise mean­ing­less.

Mil­li­gan — who strug­gled with con­trol early in the sea­son — stuck out eight, walked two and hit one bat­ter in a dom­i­nant ef­fort.

“I had a lot of con­trol prob­lems early, es­pe­cially in Florida,” said Mil­li­gan, re­fer­ring to the team’s spring-break trip. “Rec­og­niz­ing the

level of com­pe­ti­tion we were fac­ing and know­ing I had to be on my game made me set­tle down and go back to do­ing what I know in­stead of try­ing to do too much.”

Day al­lowed four hits over the first four in­nings in Game 2, but re­tired 10 of the fi­nal 11 bat­ters she faced.

“I feel like my curve­ball was not work­ing at first, but then I made the ad­just­ments I needed to make,” said Day, who struck out five and walked one.

Miller started Ch­e­sa­peake’s fifth-in­ning rally by smash­ing a sin­gle off short­stop Am­ber Cos­grove’s glove. Caro­line Clarry then dropped a per­fect sac­ri­fice bunt right in front of home plate, mov­ing Miller to sec­ond.

Catlin (2-for-2) fol­lowed with a sin­gle to right-cen­ter field, with Miller scor­ing from sec­ond just ahead of catcher Mer­ritt’s tag at­tempt. Mer­ritt then threw Catlin out at sec­ond base, but the dam­age was done.

Wil­ley, Abby Nel­son and Tori Hughes had con­sec­u­tive, one-out sin­gles in the sixth off los­ing pitcher Olivia English with Hughes’ hit plat­ing Wil­ley with a crit­i­cal in­surance run.

English tossed a six-hit­ter with three strike­outs and two walks.

The Skip­jacks are off un­til next Wed­nes­day when they travel to the Col­lege of

South­ern Mary­land (10-8, 5-1) for an­other key, early sea­son clash.

BASE­BALL Ch­e­sa­peake 7, Ca­tonsville 6 CA­TONSVILLE — Seth Wil­liams’ two-out sin­gle scored Devynn Han­cock to cap a two-run sev­enth in­ning as the Skip­jacks ral­lied in Game 2 of Wed­nes­day’s dou­ble­header to gain a split.

Bat­ting just ahead of Wil­liams, A.J. Robin­son (2-for3, run) tied the game with a run-scor­ing sac­ri­fice fly that brought home pinch run­ner Matthew Orr. Orr — run­ning for Nick Gard­ner, who led off the in­ning with a sin­gle — took sec­ond on Bran­don Bly’s sac­ri­fice and even­tu­ally reached third on an in­field er­ror.

Ed­die Nevins went 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs and two RBI for the Skip­jacks.

Win­ning pitcher Cay­den Stover went the dis­tance for Ch­e­sa­peake, spac­ing nine hits with seven strike­outs and just one walk. Only four of Ca­tonsville’s six runs were earned.

Dal­ton Swanger had a home run for the Cardinals. Ca­tonsville 13, Ch­e­sa­peake 3 CA­TONSVILLE — Den­zel John­son’s two-run dou­ble high­lighted a nine-run sixth in­ning that broke open a 4-3 game in Wed­nes­day’s opener.

A.J. Robin­son (two runs, two RBI), Devynn Han­cock and Michael Jean-Charles each went 2-for-3 to pace Ch­e­sa­peake.

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