Skipjacks claim rare sweep of the Cardinals
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.