Numbers can be deceiving.
Just ask the fifth-ranked Chesapeake softball team, which got two hits but still beat No. 6 Glen Burnie, 1-0, yesterday.
The visiting Cougars (4-0, 2-0 Anne Arundel County) defeated a third Top 15 opponent and extended their unbeaten streak to four games.
The key for Chesapeake was the stellar pitching of junior Lindsay Ettinger, who defused volatile situations in three straight innings to earn the shutout.
"Everything was working well today," said Ettinger, who collected her fourth win of the season by registering first-strike counts against 12 of the 26 Gophers batters she faced and finishing with three strikeouts. "I stayed focused and relied on my defense."
The trouble began in the second inning when Glen Burnie senior catcher Jessica Griffith opened with a double to left field.
After Ettinger got a strikeout and a fielder's choice moved pinch runner Jennifer Ashcom to third base, Ettinger fanned junior Jackie Wineke on four pitches.
With a runner on first and no outs in the next inning, Ettinger snagged a line drive and completed a double play.
The Gophers (2-1, 1-1) threatened again in the fourth when sophomore second baseman Sara Schmidt and Griffith opened the inning with back-to-back singles.
Although a wild pitch from Ettinger allowed the runners to move to second and third base with no outs, she induced Glen Burnie into two infield pop-ups and a groundout to second base to escape the jam.
Cougars coach Don Ellenberger did not hesitate to point out Ettinger's performance after the game. "She mixed the ball around," he said. "She didn't have a lot of strikeouts, but she kept their players off-balance. She didn't let them drive the ball."
Chesapeake scored the only run of the game in the sixth inning when sophomore Tracey Dahlen's triple allowed freshman Emily Bolling to score easily from first base.
For Glen Burnie coach Bob Broccolino, the outcome was a lesson in missed opportunities.
"They had a girl on first, and they get a triple. We get runners on second and third with no outs, and we can't lay down a bunt to score," he said. "We have got to take advantage of those opportunities against a good team like Chesapeake."
The game was delayed for about 30 minutes in the top of the sixth inning when pitcher Tina Willis and shortstop Amber Stapler collided while pursuing a bloop hit.
Apparently kneed by Willis in the back of the head, Stapler was conscious and could move her extremities despite some neck pain. She was taken to North Arundel Hospital for precautionary measures.
She was diagnosed with a sprained neck muscle and was released last night, Broccolino said.