Not much seems to bother Amy Jakubowski these days.
Chesapeake's ace windmiller was one pitch away from throwing her second no-hitter of the season yesterday when Old Mill's Amy McKenzie blooped a singleinto shallow right field, foiling her perfect game.
One batter later, the top-seeded Cougars sealed the 4-0, Class 4ARegion IV semifinal victory over the fourth-seeded Patriots.
While most pitchers would stew over the one that got away, Jakubowski smiled a smile that stretched from foul line to foul line and queried, "A one-hitter isn't bad, is it?"
Not at all.
In fact, while Chesapeake coach Dennis Thiele was sad that his star was denied the perfect game, he was also happy to see Old Mill, a team he has great respect for, get something, even
if it was only one hit.
"To no-hit a team, in a playoff game, the caliber of Old Mill, that's an embarrassment for them," said Thiele, whose Cougars defeated Old Mill twice during the regular season, 2-1 and 6-0.
"Amy's really popping the ball, and I'm glad she threw a shutout against these guys, but I'm also glad they got a little something out of it."
The defending 4A champion Cougars (17-3) got more than "a little something" in the roller-coaster ride of a fourth inning. Two infield errors by the Pats put Jakubowski and Stacey Grokas on base with no outs and Stacey Matcuk at the plate.
Matcuk turned to bunt on Jen Schmittle's first pitch but backed off on a low pitch, giving Old Mill catcher Lori Lynch a chance to throw out Jakubowski heading to third. And she did.
One pitch later, Grokas started to third but decided the time wasn't right. Her indecisiveness led to a rundown, and she was caught.
Matcuk got things started again for the Cougars by ripping a single and was moved to second by freshman Jamie Long on a fielder's choice error. Designated hitter Kristin Spak followed with a single up the middleto load the bases and put Old Mill back on the ropes.
Chesapeakepicked up two runs following a wild pitch, scoring Matcuk, and a passed ball, scoring Long. The Cougars went ahead 3-0 when Natalie Blacksingled to right, bringing in Spak from second.
An error, a well-placed sacrifice bunt by Nancy Yeager and a single to left by Stacey Necessary helped produce an insurance run for the Cougars in the lastof the sixth.
Matcuk and Becky Thiele led the Cougars at the plate with 2-for-3 performances.
In the final, the Cougars will play Glen Burnie, which beat Severna Park, 4-0, yesterday.