Four errors topple No. 1 Chesapeake

Third-ranked N. County capitalizes for 4-3 victory, 12-1 record in county

Softball

High Schools

April 29, 2003|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

On a normal day, a two-run lead with senior Lindsay Ettinger on the mound would be more than enough for the top-ranked Chesapeake Cougars.

Yesterday, was anything but normal.

Third-ranked North County made sure of that, taking advantage of four Cougars errors to come back for a 4-3 win at Chesapeake.

Credit the Knights, who aggressively ran the bases, turned each error into runs and got a timely two-run single in the sixth inning from Amanda Baldwin that turned out to be the difference. With the visitors taking a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh, sophomore pitcher Beth Mullins retired the Chesapeake side in order for the win.

"I'll take it any way we can get it, especially against a good team like Chesapeake," said North County coach Bobby Boyd.

The Knights improved to 13-2 overall and 12-1 in county play, taking a giant step in assuring a spot in the county championship game. The Cougars (12-3) were hoping to do the same, but fell to 8-3 in the county, with Severna Park and Northeast both going into yesterday with three losses also.

Just how atypical was yesterday's effort defensively for the Cougars? They went into the game with five errors on the season.

"We picked a bad day not to show up defensively," said Chesapeake coach Don Ellenberger. "Lindsay pitched well enough to win, and offensively we put the ball in play. But defensively we let ourselves down. I can take losing, but not by giving things away."

It was the Cougars who were first to take advantage of some North County miscues.

An inning-opening triple to deep center from Brittany Owen, two North County infield errors and a run-scoring single from Danielle Gibson provided the Cougars with a 2-0 lead.

The Knights got one back in the third inning, when Hannah Karaszkiwicz reached on an error with one out, was bunted to second by Lisa Popson and scored on a two-out single by Shannon Conwell. Two more errors from the Cougars gave the Knights the tying run in the fourth, and then, in the sixth, Baldwin hit a line drive to right-center field to score two more unearned runs for a 4-2 lead.

"Chesapeake is a big rival and we knew we would never, ever give up against them," said Baldwin. "I was actually looking for the bunt sign from Coach Boyd, and when he didn't, I was surprised. Then I got two strikes and knew [Ettinger] would go outside, so I just went that way."

The Cougars got one run back in the sixth when Jessica Dayton doubled and scored on a single from Daniell Gibson, but Mullins was too tough in the seventh.

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