’Jacks cap reg­u­lar sea­son with a sweep

Team fin­ishes 17-1 in con­fer­ence after con­vinc­ing wins over Mont­gomery; Mil­li­gan sets a mark

Record Observer - - Sports - By RICHARD MID­CAP

Ch­e­sa­peake 8 — Mont­gomery 0 Ch­e­sa­peake 9 — Mont­gomery 5

WYE MILLS — Ch­e­sa­peake Col­lege fin­ished a dom­i­nant soft­ball reg­u­lar sea­son in fa­mil­iar fash­ion, post­ing an­other shutout and pound­ing two more homers in each end of the dou­ble­header Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon while sweep­ing Mont­gomery Col­lege, 8-0 and 9-5.

Rachael Mil­li­gan (16-2) blanked the Rap­tors on one hit over four in­nings in the opener as Ch­e­sa­peake (31-6 over­all, 17-1 con­fer­ence) logged its 13th shutout of the sea­son. That vic­tory al­lowed Mil­li­gan to tie Kel­lieanne Tyner’s 2013 sin­gle-sea­son team mark for wins.

“To get that many [wins] when we have three good pitch­ers is a real ac­com­plish­ment,” said Ch­e­sa­peake head coach Dur­rie Hayes, whose squad fin­ished three games ahead of sec­ond­place CCBC-Ca­tonsville (30-18, 14-4) while claim­ing the pro­gram’s first undis­puted state ti­tle since 1981.

“Win­ning the con­fer­ence out­right for the first time in 35 years — we’re cer­tainly very pleased with that,” added Hayes, whose top-seeded Skip­jacks will look to add their first NJCAA Divi­sion II Re­gion XX crown since 2009 to the state ti­tle.

Sa­van­nah Miller (2 for 3) slammed a two-run homer as part of a five-run first and Kristina Shank (3 for 4) hit a third-in­ning solo shot in sup­port of Mil­li­gan, who struck out 11 and walked two. Court­ney Stubbs (two RBIs) and Kristen Catlin each walked with the bases loaded to high­light of a two-run se­cond.

Abby Nel­son (two dou­bles), Tori Hughes (RBI), Brit­tney Platt (dou­ble), and Caro­line Clarry each had two hits as part of Ch­e­sa­peake’s 14-hit at­tack.

The Skip­jacks bunched seven hits in the first three in­nings of Game 2 against Mont­gomery’s col­or­fully named ace, Spe­cial Zeno, who came into the game with 101 strike­outs on the sea­son.

“It’s nice to know we can still hit fast pitch­ing,”

Hayes said after Platt hit a three-run homer dur­ing a four­run first and Cat Ra­m­ag­nano (2 for 4) cracked a three-run shot as part of a five-run third. Ch­e­sa­peake vaulted to third in the state in home runs with 15 thanks to yes­ter­day’s four.

Two fifth-in­ning runs also scored on Catlin’s per­fect sui­cide squeeze, which was mis­played by the Raptor de­fense.

Platt’s homer helped wipe out an early 2-0 deficit against the Rap­tors (16-12, 8-10). Hughes had a dou­ble among her two hits in Game 2.

Ch­e­sa­peake’s Game 2 starter, Kara Wood, yielded three runs on five hits over two-plus in­nings be­fore giv­ing way to Chloe Day, who al­lowed a pair of runs on three hits with five strike­outs and a walk in four in­nings. Mil­li­gan pitched a per­fect sev­enth in­ning.

The Skip­jacks, who fin­ished a 12-2 re­gional cam­paign on

Sun­day, earned a bye di­rectly into the dou­ble-elim­i­na­tion por­tion of the re­gional tour­na­ment, which will be played May 6-8 at Hager­stown Com­mu­nity Col­lege.

Ch­e­sa­peake will play a win­ners’ bracket re­gion semi­fi­nal next Fri­day at noon against the win­ner be­tween fourth-seeded Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land (20-17 over­all, 10-6 re­gion) and fifth-seeded Ce­cil (19-12, 6-8), which is one of three best-ofthree matchups this week­end be­tween the other six teams in the tour­na­ment.

In the other half of the draw, se­cond-seeded Po­tomac State (27-7, 15-3) plays sev­enth-seeded Hager­stown (9-24, 4-10), and third-seeded Ca­tonsville (9-5 re­gional record) takes on sixth-seeded Fred­er­ick (13-22, 5-9). The vic­tors play in next Fri­day’s 2 p.m. win­ners’ bracket semi­fi­nal.

The win­ners’ bracket fi­nal is next Satur­day at noon, fol­lowed by a pair of losers’ bracket con­tests. The fi­nals are Sun­day at noon with the “if” game, if nec­es­sary at 2 p.m.

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