Northern knocks off top seed Chesapeake in 10th

May 22, 1994|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Sun Staff Writer

Much had changed for Chesapeake since the last time it faced Northern of Calvert County. There was no winning streak spanning a couple of years, and the new faces in the starting lineup outnumbered the old.

The Cougars hoped the outcome would be familiar, but that, too, was different.

Second-seeded Northern scored three runs in the top of the 10th inning for a 6-3 victory over No. 1 seed Chesapeake yesterday in the 4A East Region final, denying the Cougars a chance at their fifth consecutive state championship. This will be the first time in eight years that an Anne Arundel County team will not win the 4A title.

The Patriots (20-0) gained a measure of revenge. In last year's state final, they were beaten by the Cougars, 1-0, in eight innings.

"Getting to the states is a big thing, but to be able to get through Chesapeake to do it makes it all the more sweet," said coach Mike Johnson, whose team used three hits and three errors to move ahead in the 10th. "These are the two class teams in the area."

Chesapeake (17-3) fell behind 3-0 in the top of the third inning, then scored twice in the bottom of the third and once in the fourth.

Maggie Dziuban reached on an error and Michele Singer lined a triple to center. When the relay sailed over third base, Singer scored to reduce the lead to 3-2.

Long led off the fourth with a triple into the left-field corner, and designated runner Jen Davis scored on a bloop single by Jen Fowlkes.

Two days earlier, senior Jaime Long had pitched the Cougars to a 2-1, eight-inning win over Severna Park in the region semifinals. Yesterday, she was given the ball, and an even bigger challenge.

Northern brought more experience -- only one player graduated from last season -- a 19-0 record and a lineup filled with quality hitters. But after giving up an unearned run in the first inning and a two-run double to Taryn McDonald in the third, Long blanked the Patriots on four hits until the 10th.

She benefited from some outstanding defense from shortstop Cary Ervin, center fielder Tami Barrington and first baseman Jen Fowlkes, but everything fell apart in the 10th.

Heather Travers led off with a single, and Shannon Brigham grounded to Ervin, whose throw got past second baseman Michelle Manner. Christine Dudley grounded into a force at second, putting runners on the corners. With Dudley running on the pitch, catcher Kim Woody tried to pick off pinch runner Shannon McBain at third, but her throw skipped past Jen Lewis, giving Northern a 4-3 lead.

With two outs, Kelly Shipman singled in a run, and after another error, Sarah Colea stroked an RBI single.

Chesapeake put two runners on with none out in the sixth without scoring, and it stranded pinch runner Angie Zittle at second in the seventh.

Lewis reached on a one-out error in the 10th, but Shipman retired Manner on a pop-up and struck out Barrington looking.

"Six errors, that was the difference," said coach Dennis Thiele, whose team hadn't lost a playoff game on its home field in eight years. "We booted the ball, threw it around, didn't make the plays. But we had our opportunities and the girls did the best they could. We're taking a little hiatus now, but we'll be back next year, no doubt about it. We'll reload again."

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