Chesapeake tops Mt. de Sales, 5-0, proves a hit for new coach

Cougars' Ettinger gets opening win with 5-hitter

Sasser 2-for-3 for Sailors

Softball

High School

March 22, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Chesapeake softball coach Don Ellenberger didn't have to wait very long for an answer to a burning question.

Wondering whether his team could hit the ball as well as it could field it, Ellenberger watched the fifth-ranked Cougars score five runs in four innings en route to a 5-0 victory over No. 9 Mount de Sales in the season opener for both squads yesterday in Pasadena.

Chesapeake's seven-hit attack did not come against All-Metro second-team pitcher Jessica Taylor - who is nursing a pulled right hamstring. But Ellenberger still was encouraged by his team's prowess at the plate.

"Just getting the win is what it's all about," said the first-year coach after his first varsity win. "In years past, we've been shut down by someone's second or third pitcher. So we'll take the win, no matter who it is pitching."

Sophomore left-hander Danielle Ditzel, a JV pitcher last season who replaced Taylor on the mound yesterday, was charged with the loss as she gave up all five runs before being replaced in the fifth inning by Mary Ellen Morse.

By contrast, Cougars junior right-hander Lindsay Ettinger gave up just five hits and didn't allow a runner to reach third base until the Sailors threatened in the final inning.

"It's a good way to start off the season," said Ettinger, who compiled a 7-3 record last season en route to All-Anne Arundel County honors. "I think we all came in with a little bit of jitters, but those jitters went away after the first inning."

Sophomore shortstop Tracey Dahlen got things rolling for Chesapeake by opening the bottom of the first inning with a bunt single. After a wild pitch and a throwing error moved her to third, senior second baseman Nicole DeLeonardo's groundout allowed Dahlen to score.

DeLeonardo victimized the Sailors again in the third inning. With two outs, Dahlen reached on an infield single and senior catcher Sara Vogt blooped a single into shallow left field. DeLeonardo then drove Dahlen and Vogt home with a triple to right, giving the Cougars a 3-0 lead.

"We came in fired up and ready to play," DeLeonardo said.

Chesapeake upped the advantage to 5-0 after junior Jessica Fogle laced an RBI triple into right field to drive in sophomore Christina Bales (2-for-3 batting) and later scored on a wild pitch.

Senior catcher Stephanie Sasser led the Sailors with a 2-for-3 outing at the plate, but Mount de Sales could not mount much of an attack against Ettinger.

Sailors coach Pete Waskiewicz said that having Taylor on the mound might have helped settle his young team, which has new position players at catcher, second base, shortstop and center field.

"She would have thrown a lot harder, but Chesapeake is a first-rate ball club," Waskiewicz said. "They had some timely hitting today. They're going to hurt somebody."

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