Skipjacks sweep Cecil, extend win streak to 11
Chesapeake 4 — Cecil 2 Chesapeake 8 — Cecil 0
NORTH EAST — Chesapeake College took another big step toward its first undisputed women’s softball conference title in 35 years Saturday afternoon by sweeping host Cecil College, 4-2 and 8-0.
The Skipjacks (14-3 overall, 6-0 league) have won 11 straight and are the last re- maining unbeaten team in Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference play. The only opponent left on Chesapeake’s conference schedule with a winning league record is Montgomery College — and the Raptors (7-3-1, 3-1) haven’t played a team currently over .500 in the conference.
Meanwhile, Chesapeake’s six conference victories have come against a trio of teams — Catonsville, Southern Maryland and Cecil — that are a combined 17-9 in the league.
“With all due respect to everyone else, this was the toughest part of our conference schedule,” said Chesapeake head coach Durrie Hayes, whose teams won shares of conference titles in both 2010 and 2014. “Based on what’s happened up to now in the conference, we’re in pretty decent shape.”
Saturday’s sweep, however, came at a steep cost. Second baseman Tori Hughes and shortstop Jenna Willey were injured in the opener and nightcap, respectively. Hughes was hit by a pitch in her right hand and Willey hurt her left knee, leaving Hayes with a makeshift lineup by the end of the day.
“We can limp through a couple of weeks,” Hayes said of the impact of the injuries. “If it’s more than that, it could be a challenge for us.”
Willey played a key part in Chesapeake’s tie-breaking, sixth-inning rally in the opener. With the game tied, 2-2, Willey singled to lead off the inning, went to second on Chloe Day’s one-out sacrifice, and scored on Brittney Platt’s single.
Chesapeake added a
insurance run as Caroline Clarry singled, went to second on a sacrifice by Kristen Catlin (double), and scored on a double by Cat Ramagnano (3-for-4, three RBI), whose two-run homer in the top of the third had given Chesapeake an early, 2-0
“We stress so much how important bunting is when you get into tight games,” Hayes said of the successful sacrifices by Day and Catlin in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.
Cecil (12-7, 6-4) had scored a pair of unearned runs in the home third to tie the game, 2-2.
Rachael Milligan earned the first-game win, throw-
ing a four-hitter with seven strikeouts and four walks while not allowing an earned run. Kara Wood was even better in the nightcap, notching a two-hit shutout with two strikeouts and a walk.
Ramagnano led the offensive attack again in Game 2, going 2-for-3 with a threerun, fourth-inning homer that completed the scoring.
“She’s just smokin’ hot,”
Hayes said of Ramagnano, who is 11-for-14 over the last four games.
Abby Nelson went 2-for3 for Chesapeake in the nightcap, doubling in a firstinning run and plating two more runs as part of a threerun fourth with her second double of the game. Day, meanwhile, went 2-for-2 with a double as Chesapeake finished with 11 hits.
Hayes said the sweeps of
Catonsville, CSM and Cecil leave the Skipjacks in a great position since they now own the tie-breaker edge against all three rivals.
“I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but for all intents and purposes we’re three games ahead of Catonsville because we have the tie-breaker,” Hayes said. “That’s a pretty nice lead. If Catonsville sweeps everybody, we’ve got to lose
three games to lose the title. We’ve got injuries, but right now we look to be in pretty good shape.”
Notes: Chesapeake’s Sunday doubleheader against Potomac State College of West Virginia University has been postponed due to a wet field. The Catamounts are the reigning Region XX champions, having beaten Chesapeake in last year’s regional finals.