No. 1 Chesapeake nips No. 3 Falcons behind Long, 2-0

April 08, 1994|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Sun Staff Writer

When Chesapeake and Severna Park last met on the softball field, the Cougars needed equal parts skill, composure and luck to take a 1-0 victory in the Class 4A, Region IV final.

They went on to an unprecedented fourth consecutive state championship, while Severna Park just went home, its season finished.

After yesterday's rematch, the Falcons could take comfort in knowing they still have many games ahead of them. The season didn't end this time, but neither did their frustration at coming up short against the Cougars.

Senior Jaime Long allowed just three hits and struck out 10, and senior Michelle Manner reached base three times and stole four bases to lead No. 1 Chesapeake (2-0) to a 2-0 victory in a game that was postponed Wednesday because of rain.

Long gave up a single in the second inning and two more in the fifth, and retired the last eight batters.

"All my pitches were working today," said Long, last year's county and metro Player of the Year. "I felt more comfortable with the mound because I play here in the summer for the [Chesapeake] Chargers. This is our home field.

"In the Old Mill game, my drop was mostly working, but my riser wasn't working that well. Today, it was working and I felt comfortable with it, so I threw it more."

Her only serious jam came in the fifth, when Christy Huber and pinch-hitter Lauryn McAlister singled with one out. But pinch-hitter Melissa Snyder, who is recovering from a broken arm, and Beki Rendulic struck out.

No. 3 Severna Park had put a runner on second base in the fourth when Amy Senger reached on a throwing error and advanced on a ground out. But another strikeout ended that threat.

Huber pitched well enough to win, striking out 13 and allowing three hits, including a run-scoring single by Long in the first.

Manner opened the third inning with a walk and promptly stole second. She swiped third with two outs and came home on a wild pitch.

Chesapeake, winners of 43 straight, threatened in the fifth when Manner walked with two outs, stole second and moved to third on another wild pitch. This time, Huber escaped by striking out Jen Fowlkes.

In the seventh, Chesapeake's Michele Singer doubled over the head of left fielder Jen Avent with one out, but Huber struck out the next two batters.

"I told them at the beginning of the season, after losing seven of nine starters, we're going to basically have to start over and you're going to see one- and two-run ballgames. They're going to be commonplace this year," said Chesapeake coach Dennis Thiele.

"The mystique with Chesapeake is still there, though, and until somebody beats us, we're still on top. That's just the way it happens."

* Spalding 6, Northeast 1: Senior right-hander Carrie Parsons threw a no-hitter as visiting Spalding (2-0) defeated Northeast (1-1) yesterday. Parsons (2-0) has given up only one run and one hit in 14 innings.

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