Chesapeake breaks out its bats, 7-3

Offense awakens to spark victory over Northeast

April 04, 2002|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Fourth-ranked Chesapeake of Anne Arundel County had won five of its first six games on strong pitching and defense, with just enough offense.

Yesterday against No. 6 Northeast, the Cougars uncharacteristically committed five errors, but All-County pitcher Lindsay Ettinger was solid as usual and the bats finally came around, as visiting Chesapeake won, 7-3.

The Cougars (6-1 overall, 3-0 in Anne Arundel County league), who had scored a total of two runs while splitting a pair of games in Saturday's Cavalier Classic, pounded out 10 hits and broke a 2-2 tie with five runs on five hits in the sixth inning.

Tina Bales, who started the Cougars' rally in the sixth with a leadoff single, went 3-for-4 and scored a run. Sara Vogt (2-for-3, two RBIs) and Tracy Dahlen (2-for-4, two RBIs) also had multiple hits for Chesapeake.

Ettinger gave up just one earned run and five hits, finishing with nine strikeouts and no walks.

"This wasn't one of our greatest defensive efforts," Chesapeake coach Don Ellenberger said, "but the bottom line is that Lindsay did her job by throwing well and we got some clutch hits in the five-run inning. We had been struggling and scraping for runs all year, so it looks like maybe our hitting is starting to catch up."

After Bales singled to start the sixth and moved to second on Kristin Duvall's wild pitch, Kristen Wheeler followed with a base hit, putting runners at the corners before Wheeler stole second. Duvall got Brittany Owen to pop out, but then things came apart for the Eagles (3-3, 1-2).

Danielle Gibson's infield hit scored Bales to put the Cougars ahead 3-2. From there, an error, a walk and two singles led to four more runs, as Chesapeake sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning.

For the defending county champion Eagles, it was their second loss in as many days -- they dropped a 3-2 decision to unranked South Carroll on Tuesday -- after playing well in the Cavalier Classic, where they went 2-0 and outscored the opposition 10-2.

All of South Carroll's runs on Tuesday were unearned, and yesterday, the Eagles committed three errors that led to three unearned runs.

"We came out much better mentally prepared [compared with Tuesday], but one inning was real shaky, and that was the difference," Northeast coach Marianne Shultz said.

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