Skipjacks get eliminated from XX tournament
PSC, CSM aces hold Chesapeake in check in consecutive games
PSC 3 — Chesapeake 2 CSM 3 — Chesapeake 2
HAGERSTOWN — Chesapeake College has been a recent fixture in the NJCAA Division II Region XX softball finals. When this year’s finals rolled around, however, the top-seeded Skipjacks were conspicuous by their absence.
Defending champion Potomac State College of West Virginia University beat the Skipjacks, 3-2, on Beth Cook’s eighth-inning homer in Sunday’s winners’ bracket final. Third-seeded College of Southern Maryland then hung another 3-2 loss on Chesapeake in the losers’ bracket final to bring a sudden end to the Skipjacks’ season.
PSC’s Danica Rogers threw a four-hitter with seven strikeouts and six walks to send Chesapeake to the losers’ bracket. CSM’s Lori Sturgill then blanked the Skipjacks on one hit until the seventh, when Chesapeake scored twice and put the tying run on base before Sturgill squelched the rally.
“You’ve got to give credit where credit is due and they just shut us down,” Chesapeake head coach Durrie Hayes said of Rogers and Sturgill.
The Skipjacks (32-8) didn’t hit much better on Saturday, but Rachael Milligan’s 1-0 shutout over CSM propelled Chesapeake into Sunday’s winners’ bracket final against second-seeded Potomac State. The lack of hitting, however, finally caught up to the Skipjacks, who finished the tournament with just 10 hits.
“They played well all year and they’re a really good group of young ladies,” Hayes said of his team, which won the program’s first undisputed state title since 1981. “They hustled and they got along. Even in the end, they scored two runs in the last inning. There was no ‘give-up’ in them.”
The Skipjacks compensated so well after a season-ending injury to standout shortstop Jenna Willey, claiming the state title despite losing one of their best offensive players. Willey, however, would have been a welcome presence in the middle of that order this weekend after hitting