Arundel shuts down struggling Chesapeake

Grace hands No. 2 Cougars second straight loss, 6-1

Softball

April 10, 1999|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Scoring was not a planned concern for the Chesapeake Cougars going into the season. But the pitching they've seen in in Anne Arundel County this week may have them reconsidering.

Yesterday afternoon in Gambrills, Arundel pitcher Soraya Grace got the big outs when needed, and a five-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth provided No. 5-ranked Wildcats with a 6-1 win over No. 2 Chesapeake.

The Cougars (4-2) got six hits but stranded nine runners, with Grace, a senior, striking out six batters.

On Wednesday, No. 3 Northeast blanked Chesapeake, 3-0.

And while the Cougars struggled to find the big hit yesterday, Arundel (6-1) was able to break a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning.

The Wildcats batted around, getting four singles and four walks as they went station-to-station to manufacture the big inning.

Valerie McDowell, Alexis Viera and Becky Carlson each drove in runs with singles. Viera finished with three singles, a run scored and one RBI.

"In the bottom of the sixth, we were a lot more patient and swung the bat really well," said Arundel coach Paul Yannuzzi.

Grace, who struck out the side in the fourth, worked her way out of jams in the third and fifth innings with the game tied at 1.

The Cougars had runners on second and third with two out in the third, but Grace got Kristin Bishoff to ground out to second. With runners on second and third again in the fifth, Grace got Justine Wagner to ground to short and struck out Kristen Wheeler.

"It happens," said Chesapeake coach Dennis Thiele. "Right now offensively, we're a little snake-bit. No runs against Northeast, and we could only manufacture one today. It's a minor slump, but we'll get back on track."

Grace didn't help, getting stronger as the game went on and relying on a high fastball and occasional slow stuff.

"In the beginning of the game, it looked to me like Soraya wasn't quite in sync," said Yannuzzi. "She walked some batters and threw a lot of pitches, but she worked her way into the game and pitched real well late."

Michelle Cappe singled and scored the Cougars' run on Wheeler's two-out hit in the third.

Pub Date: 4/10/99

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