Severna Park ends Chesapeake-AA's streak at 49 games

April 23, 1994|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Sun Staff Writer

The lead run stood at second base with two outs in the sixth inning. Melissa Snyder stepped into the batter's box, took a deep breath and tried to clear her head.

On Thursday, the Severna Park junior found out that a close friend had been killed in Louisiana. For the past 24 hours, her thoughts weren't on softball. She wasn't even sure that she would play yesterday.

Now, the outcome depended largely on her. "A lot of things were going through my mind," she said. "For one second, all I wanted to do was hit the ball, and that's all I thought."

Snyder drove a pitch from Chesapeake senior Jaime Long over center fielder Tami Barrington, who took a step in before making a hasty retreat. Courtesy-runner Jessica Miller raced home, Snyder had her second triple of the game, and No. 3 Severna Park held on for a 2-1 upset of host and No. 1 Chesapeake-AA, ending the Cougars' winning streak at 49 games.

Chesapeake (8-1) got the tying run an inning earlier when Michelle Manner scored from third on a pop-up that second baseman Brianna Weidman bobbled, then caught as she fell. Long, who had walked, reached third on the play but was stranded.

Long retired the first two batters in the sixth before Amanda Melgaard reached on an infield single. Miller replaced Melgaard and stole second, getting in scoring position for Snyder.

"I don't think you can describe a kid like [Snyder]," said coach Wayne Mook. "To go from the low of yesterday to the high of today, it's unbelievable. She's still hurting, there's no doubt, but she wanted to play."

However, Severna Park (7-1) wasn't in the clear yet. Sophomore pitcher Christy Huber retired the first two batters in the seventh, but she walked Barrington on a 3-2 pitch. Long grounded to shortstop Alli Adams, whose underhand toss to second sailed over Weidman's head.

With runners on second and third and clean-up hitter Kim Woody coming up, Mook went to the mound, gathered his infielders and said, " 'Hey, there's no harm done. Christy, this batter's yours.' "

Three pitches later -- all strikes -- Severna Park secured the victory, avenging a 2-0 loss to Chesapeake on April 6 and a 1-0 setback in last year's 4A, Region IV final.

"In the games before, whenever Chesapeake has gotten their first run, everyone has sort of gotten down on themselves, but it didn't happen today," said Huber, who gave up five hits, walked four and struck out six.

"I didn't have very much speed today; my velocity wasn't that good, but I just knew I had to work with what I had. I threw a lot of breaking pitches. I didn't throw anything right down the middle."

Huber was given a 1-0 lead in the second when Snyder led off with a triple to right-center and scored on Jen Avent's single.

Chesapeake's first two batters reached base in the second and third innings, but couldn't score. In the second, Cary Ervin and Manner popped up and Jen Lewis struck out. In the third, Barrington was called out for leaving first base too soon on an attempted steal from first. A two-out walk to Michele Singer put runners on first and second, but Jennifer Fowlkes struck out.

"We've been very successful, and we'll continue to be successful. We're not going to let one game get in the way of what our goals are," said Chesapeake coach Dennis Thiele, whose team has won the past four 4A state championships, and five of the past six.

"Other teams still have to come catch us, and I don't know if they have the capabilities of doing it. I told them, as long as we learned something positive from it, we're going to be winners in the long run."

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