It often takes a lot of things to go right to squeeze out a 1-0 win.
For the Chesapeake softball team, those things were stellar pitching from Lindsay Ettinger, good defense at third base from Brittany Owen and a close call or two going its way yesterday against visiting Old Mill.
Emily Bolling beat out an infield chop at third to score Meghan Hickman with two outs in the fifth, and Ettinger took care of the rest, one-hitting the No. 9 Patriots in the 1-0 win for the top-ranked Cougars.
The Cougars (14-3) rebounded from Monday's 4-3 loss to No. 3 North County and stayed in the hunt for a berth in the Anne Arundel County championship game at 10-3.
For the Patriots, who fell to 9-6, it was another one-run game that went the other way.
Chesapeake coach Don Ellenberger had to look no further than the mound for the focal point.
After allowing a leadoff single to Christina Deavers, Ettinger retired 18 straight batters before Ali Montgomery reached on an error to lead off the seventh. Ettinger, who finished with 13 strikeouts, then retired the next three batters.
"Old Mill has a lot of outstanding hitters and Lindsay did well to hit her spots. She mixed her pitches well and her fastball had a little more zip today," Ellenberger said. "When [Montgomery] got on in the seventh, she was able to bear down and get the job done. That's what you expect from a senior."
Old Mill's Dawn Artman did her part in the pitching duel, allowing just three hits. Two came in a fifth inning that included a reversed call by the umpires. With one out and Hickman on first, Amanda Santoni was originally called out by the field umpire as she tried to beat out a sacrifice bunt. Ellenberger appealed the play to the home plate umpire, who overruled the call.
After a wild pitch sent Hickman to third and Santoni to second, Artman struck out Tracey Dahlen for the second out but Bolling reached on the infield single to score Hickman.
The one-hit effort from Ettinger came with two sensational plays at third from Owen, who back-handed Danielle Ziegler's sharp grounder right at the bag in the fourth and then made a diving stab on a Jenn Clarke liner over the bag in the fifth.
"If I'm not batting well, I know I can make it up on defense. I just pay attention, keep my eyes on the ball and play my base to get us outs," Owen said. "We needed this win - it was big."