Skip­jacks get elim­i­nated from XX tour­na­ment

PSC, CSM aces hold Ch­e­sa­peake in check in con­sec­u­tive games

Record Observer - - Sports - By RICHARD MIDCAP

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

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