Mor­ton gets first college win

Dorchester Star - - FRONT PAGE - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com Fol­low Caro­line/Dorch­ester Ed­i­tor Dustin Holt on Twit­ter @Dustin_S­tarDem.

North Dorch­ester High grad­u­ate Brooke Mor­ton earns a com­plete-game vic­tory Sun­day for Ch­e­sa­peake College. Mor­ton pitched a strong com­plete game, al­low­ing just one earned run, scattering 12 hits and strik­ing out four.

WYE MILLS — Ch­e­sa­peake College soft­ball opened the 2018 sea­son with a sweep at home against Rowan College (N.J.) at Burling­ton County Sun­day, March 4.

The Skip­jacks got strong pitch­ing per­for­mances in the dou­ble­header by Eas­ton High grad­u­ate Sa­van­nah Miles and North Dorch­ester alum Brooke Mor­ton.

She picked up the 8-3 win with a com­plete game in the opener. She al­lowed three earned run and struck out 11 while giv­ing up five hits.

Ch­e­sa­peake helped Mor­ton earn her first-ca­reer college win with a walk-off 9-8 come­back vic­tory in the sec­ond game. The Skip­jacks trailed 8-3 go­ing into the sev­enth in­ning, but five straight hits put the win­ning run at the plate.

Emily Lowrance (Cen­tre­ville, Va., West­field High) de­liv­ered with a two-run home run to win the game.

Mor­ton pitched a strong com­plete game, al­low­ing just one earned run, scattering 12 hits and strik­ing out four. Rowan took an 8-2 lead with a seven-run sixth in­ning, helped by three Skip­jack er­rors.

“We’ve got two solid pitch­ers,” said head coach Dur­rie Hayes. “Sa­van­nah has been through the wars. Sa­van­nah has won a state cham­pi­onship. Sa­van­nah has played ver y high-level travel.

“Brooke hasn’t so you won­der when she gets in a tough sit­u­a­tion how she is go­ing to re­act,” he added. “We made all those er­rors in the sixth in­ning. She then walked the num­ber nine hit­ter on four pitches, but then she came back and re­grouped.”

Hayes said Mor­ton has a great work ethic, and pitched very well in her de­but.

“Brooke was cruis­ing right along,” he said. “She pitched with a lot of con­fi­dence.”

Trail­ing 8-2 in the sixth, first base­man Kas­sidy Wil­lis (Eas­ton High) roped a sin­gle to left to start the in­ning. Ari­ane Valdez (Le­high Acres, Fla., Moore Haven) and Lowrance hit con­sec­u­tive sin­gles to load the bases. Mered­ith Bell (North Dorch­ester High) drove in Wil­lis with an RBI, fielder’s choice ground­out to short.

In the sev­enth, the Skip­jacks came all the way back with­out mak­ing an out. Sa­van­nah Miles (4 for 4) and fel­low Third base­man and Eas­ton High grad­u­ate Kate­lynn Miles each sin­gled. Short­stop Anne Ger­witz (Fort Myers, Fla., Sa­cred Heart of Je­sus) plated Sa­van­nah Miles with an RBI dou­ble.

Wil­lis (3 for 4) brought Ch­e­sa­peake within 8-5 when she ripped an RBI dou­ble down the right-field line. Valdez (2 for 4, two RBIs) then belted a two-run dou­ble to score Ger­witz (3 for 4, two RBIs) and Wil­lis and cut the lead to 8-7. Lowrance fouled off six pitches be­fore smack­ing the game-win­ning, tworun home run.

“The girls in the mid­dle of the game were hav­ing bad at bats,” Hayes said. “If we lose, we lose, but have good at bats. They showed a lot of heart com­ing back to the end there.

“We didn’t have any bloop­ers in the come­back,” he added. “All were strong hits. It was base hit af­ter base hit.”

In the first game, Sa­van­nah Miles struck out five of the first six bat­ters. She put the Skip­jacks in the lead with an RBI dou­ble in the bot­tom of the first. She then scored on a wild pitch for a 2-0 lead.

Ch­e­sa­peake went up 4-0 in the sec­ond when catcher and Kent County grad­u­ate Alyssa Ken­dall belted a tworun dou­ble to score Valdez and sec­ond base­man Ju­lia Collins (Canas­tota, N.Y., Canas­tota High).

“First game, Sa­van­nah shut them down,” Hayes said. “The key was we got two in the first, two in the sec­ond and two in the third.

“A lot, if not all, of those runs were with two outs,” he added. “That is big. When­ever they would score a run, we would score a run.”

Sin­gles by Ger­witz (2 for 4) and Wil­lis put two on for Valdez. She de­liv­ered with an RBI sin­gle. Wil­lis then scored on a sacri­fice fly by Collins to in­crease the lead to 6-0.

Collins made sev­eral key de­fen­sive plays in the dou­ble­header, in­clud­ing a div­ing catch in the fifth in­ning. She then drove in an­other run with a sin­gle in the bot­tom of the fifth. Kate­lynn Miles (2 for 4) tacked on the final run when she ripped an RBI sin­gle to cen­ter in the sixth.

The de­fense came up with a game-end­ing dou­ble play. With run­ners at the sec­ond a third, Sa­van­nah Miles in­duced a grounder back to the mound. She fired to Wil­lis for the out, then Wil­lis de­liv­ered a strike Ken­dall who tagged the run­ner for the dou­ble play.

The Skip­jacks head to Florida Wed­nes­day for their spring trip. They re­turn home to play Fri­day, March 16.

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

North Dorch­ester High grad­u­ate Brooke Mor­ton earns a com­plete-game vic­tory Sun­day for Ch­e­sa­peake College.

North Dorch­ester grad­u­ate Mered­ith Bell sin­gles for Ch­e­sa­peake College Sun­day, March 4.

PHOTOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

Ch­e­sa­peake College short­stop Anne Ger­witz (Fort Myers, Fla., Sa­cred Heart of Je­sus) gets the force at sec­ond Sun­day, March 4.

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