Chesapeake scratches by Knights for Taylor

Wild pitch, delayed steal count big in 3-1 decision

April 13, 2000|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

With strong pitching and defense almost always guaranteed among the Anne Arundel County's elite softball teams, the challenge often becomes finding different ways to score runs.

Against visiting North County yesterday, Chesapeake brought some aggressive base running to accompany senior pitcher Erin Taylor.

Scratching two runs across in the bottom of the third -- highlighted by Lindsay Ries' delayed steal of home -- the No. 5-ranked Cougars came away with a resourceful, error-free win over the No. 4 Knights, 3-1.

Taylor, who now has a 4-1 mark that includes wins over No. 2 Glen Burnie and No. 3 Northeast, worked her way out of a first-inning jam, allowing just one run on three hits and then pitching shutout ball the rest of the way.

The Cougars broke a 1-1 tie in the third inning, Kristen Bishoff (3-for-4, two runs) scoring on a wild pitch with Ries adding insurance on the delayed steal.

"I was a little nervous at first, but Erin fought through the first inning and settled down to pitch a good game. She was able to keep them off-balance," said Chesapeake coach Don Bishoff. "As for the delayed steal, it was a situation where we thought we had [North County pitcher Brandi Schickton] a little rattled, so there was an opportunity to steal a run. Lindsay executed it before, and it was a big run for us to go up 3-1."

The Cougars' defense made all the plays, and Taylor helped herself in the fourth with consecutive strikeouts that stranded two North County runners.

"Two or three plays usually decide a game like this, and Chesapeake got them today," said North County coach Brian Love, whose Knights fell to 6-3. "We left some runners on, and that's been the story of us this season. But we're hitting the ball well. Chesapeake made the plays when they had to."

The North County bats started fast.

Miranda Cole led off with a double to right and scored on Heather Frye's single up the middle. Caitlin Burns blooped a single to center, meaning two runners on. But the Knights couldn't punch anything across.

Ries made a diving grab of at shortstop of a liner by Brittany Boyd, Schickton struck out, and Chrissy Suit popped out to end the threat.

Chesapeake answered in the bottom of the first when Kristen Wheeler singled home Kristen Bishoff with two outs.

The Cougars win avenged last week's 3-1 loss at North County.

"We're dead-even now. They got us, 3-1, and we got them, 3-1," said Don Bishoff. "We're not scoring a lot of runs, but we feel our pitching keeps us in games, and we stress playing solid defense. If we don't make mistakes, we'll win our share."

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