For Old Mill softball teams, it seems the road always ends at Chesapeake High.
No. 3 Chesapeake, the defending Class 4A softball champion, continued its domination of Old Mill yesterday, defeating the top-ranked Patriots, 2-0 -- their first loss in 14 games.
"Since I've been here, we've beaten them in seven playoffs," said Chesapeake eighth-year coach Dennis Thiele, whose Cougars (11-1, 5-0 in the county's Friendship Division) beat the Patriots, 6-0 and 2-1, last regular season.
The Cougars got three of their five hits yesterday off pitcher Jennifer Schmittle (4-1) in the fourth inning, beginning with singles from Stacey Necessary and Becky Thiele, the coach's daughter.
Necessary was forced at third on Jamie Long's fielder's choice. A single by Natalie Black scored Thiele to put the Cougars ahead, 1-0. Then, with Long on third base and Black on second, Schmittle balked as catcher Lori Lynch was changing signals. Long scored the second run.
"Lori had called for a screwball. I was about to pitch, and Lori said, 'No.' " said Schmittle, who walked one.
Junior pitcher Lori Congdon kept the Patriots (13-1, 3-1) off balance, striking out 13 and giving up just three hits and no walks. Only Old Mills' Jen Bostak, who hit a fourth-inning double, got past first base.
"She concentrated on every single pitch," Thiele said. "She was as smooth as glass."
Old Mill coach Lori Darnell said that her Patriots were enjoying life at the top, but the loss gives them incentive for their May 11 regular-season finale against Chesapeake.
"Today, I think I felt more pressure than the team did. I think we played a little scared," said the first-year coach, whose Patriots are 3-1 in the division. "This was one of the games that I felt we had to win, but we'll get another chance."
The Cougars' only loss came against No. 2 North County, a team that the Patriots have beaten twice, and a team that was defeated, 2-1, by fifth-ranked, defending Class 2A state champion Northeast yesterday.