Northeast's pair of pitchers, a force, triple win at Chesapeake

Eagles win sixth game, stopping host Cougars, 3-0

April 08, 1999|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Northeast's pitchers did their thing yesterday afternoon against visiting Chesapeake while patiently waiting for the big hit.

Senior shortstop Amanda Shifflett finally provided it in the bottom of the fifth, lining a triple into the gap in right-center that produced two runs and helped send No. 3-ranked Northeast past the No. 2 Cougars, 3-0.

Sophomore pitcher Rachel Herrick shut down Chesapeake's batters for the first three innings before giving way to senior Stacy Smith, who allowed two hits in the final four innings and got the win.

The two had combined to no-hit Mount de Sales by the same 3-0 score in Archbishop Spalding's Cavalier Classic over the weekend.

Chesapeake pitcher Katie Nelson went pitch-for-pitch until the Eagles (6-1) broke through in the fifth.

With one out and the bases loaded, Melissa Rode lined a ball to right. Erin Gray came across for the game's first run, but Rode was forced out at first.

Shifflett, who earlier in the game turned a sharp grounder up the middle into a double play, followed with the triple to push the lead to 3-0 before being called out at home trying to stretch it into a homer. The damage was done.

"[Nelson] likes to pitch outside a lot, so I was looking for something to drive out there. I just try to do whatever I can to help the team," said Shifflett.

The best chance for the Cougars (4-1) came in the top of the third inning, when Meredith Pirone and Michelle Cappe hit back-to-back singles and advanced a base on a passed ball with two outs.

But Herrick got Lindsey Ries to line out to right fielder Erin Gray to end the threat.

"It was a well-played game on both sides," said Chesapeake coach Dennis Thiele. "We had an opportunity early on that would have helped us, and they had an opportunity a little later. They got the key hit. [Shifflett's] line drive in the gap -- that was the ball game."

Northeast coach Marianne Shultz wasn't surprised that the game-winner came from Shifflett.

"She's come up with the big hit for us so many times," said Shultz. "I thought all four pitchers pitched extremely well. We just got some lucky breaks in the same inning to put it all together, and that's important in a pitchers' duel."

Cappe, the Cougars' leadoff hitter, went 3-for-3 on the afternoon -- each at-bat using her speed with slap hits.

Pub Date: 4/08/99

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