Chesapeake edges N. County, 4-3

`Gritty' extra-inning win is Cougars' 5th in past 6

High Schools

Softball

April 20, 2001|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Statistics don't lie, but they can mislead.

Defying logic and the box score, the No. 3 and visiting Chesapeake-AA softball team continued its feel-good groove by nipping sixth-ranked North County, 4-3, in nine innings in Glen Burnie yesterday.

The Cougars improved to 9-2 overall and 7-1 in the county despite registering one fewer hit and one more error than the defending Class 4A state champion Knights.

"Gritty," Chesapeake coach Don Bishoff said of his team's fifth victory in its past six games. "We didn't play our best, but we did the things we had to. ... It could've gone either way."

Although North County (7-5 overall, 6-2 in the county) enjoyed a 2-0 lead after the second inning, the Cougars clawed out runs in the third and fifth innings to tie the score and send the contest into extra innings.

In the team's first meeting more than two weeks ago, the Knights won in extra innings, 4-3.

"It was deja vu," said Chesapeake sophomore pitcher Lindsay Ettinger, who earned the win and improved to 5-1. "This time, we were on the winning end because we wanted it real bad."

With senior left fielder Cindy Miller starting at second base in the top of the eighth inning, junior third baseman Kristen Wheeler laced a two-out double into left field to drive Miller home and give the Cougars a 3-2 lead.

But North County tied the game when senior center fielder Shannon Cofiell blooped a two-out single into left field to score senior catcher Caitlin Burns, who was the team's courtesy runner at second.

Starting at second in the top of the ninth, Chesapeake junior shortstop Nikki DeLeonardo moved to third base on a passed ball. She crossed the plate on a 1-1 wild pitch from Knights junior pitcher Brittany Boyd that eluded Burns.

North County was able to move junior Jen Ingle from second to third in the bottom half of the inning with only one out, but Ettinger induced a flare to DeLeonardo and a grounder to freshman second baseman Christina Bales to end the threat and the game.

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