Chesapeake loses in ninth

Westminster prevails on Bowen's bunt, advances to East semifinals, 2-1

Class 4A softball

May 15, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Over the past two years, the Westminster softball team has developed a knack for winning tight games. In yesterday's Class 4A East quarterfinal against No. 3 Chesapeake-Anne Arundel, however, it was a loose helmet that helped the host Owls win yet another.

With a runner on third and one out in the ninth inning, Hollie Cushen scored when, after Sharon Bowen's bunt single to the right side, the throw home hit the helmet of catcher Sara Vogt, which was lying on the first base side of the plate. The deflection caused Vogt to bobble the ball, allowing Cushen to slide in safely for a 2-1 win.

"It happens; it's one of those things," said Chesapeake coach Don Ellenberger. "It wasn't our day. They did the little things that got the win for them. They got their bunts down, and we didn't. That's what it really came down to -- execution."

No. 10 Westminster (14-6), the defending Class 4A state champion, advances to today's 6 p.m. regional semifinal at Randazzo Park against North County, a 7-6 winner over Glen Burnie.

In a game in which Chesapeake starter Lindsey Attinger was perfect into the seventh -- she struck out 14, including 11 of 13 at one point -- and Westminster starter Nichol Moeller took a no-hit bid into the eighth, it was the Owls' late execution that made the difference.

In each of the first two innings, the Cougars put runners in scoring position, only to watch Moeller induce grounders to get herself out of the jam. The Owls didn't put a runner on base until Bowen's single leading off the seventh, and the game remained scoreless into extra innings.

"Nichol is battle-tested," said Owls coach Bryan Shumaker. "We played five one-run games last year, so it's not like they're new for us."

Starting with a free runner on second in the eighth, Chesapeake (19-3) scored on Kristen Siskey's single to right, scoring Brittany Owen. Owen then stole second, but she slid past the base and was tagged out.

Westminster tied the score in the eighth on Moeller's sharp single to center, scoring Megan Taylor from third.

The Cougars then ran themselves out of a threat in the ninth, when Jessica Fogle was thrown out trying to advance to third on Tracey Dahlen's bunt single.

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