Chesapeake starts fast, handles IND, 6-3

Three-run first gets No. 2 Cougars going

Softball

High Schools

March 28, 2004|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The Chesapeake of Anne Arundel Cougars went to some exhaustive measures to get in yesterday's softball game against visiting Institute of Notre Dame.

With an assist from a donated tarp, the coaching staff started working on the soaked field at 8 a.m. to counter the overnight rain and have it ready for the 2 p.m. start. While the coaches were raking the infield, four of the home team starters were taking their SATs - finishing just in time get ready to play.

It was all time well spent for the No. 2 Cougars, who jumped on the No. 8 Indians early and then had something left later when things got close to win, 6-3.

Third baseman Brittany Owen went 2-for-3 with a triple, two RBIs and a run. Shortstop Tracey Dahlen reached base all four times, singling twice and scoring twice. And senior pitcher Kristie Hurman allowed three hits to get her second win in as many days. Friday, the Cougars (2-1) came away with a 4-2 win in their visit to No. 7 Northeast.

"The first week is always tough - you just get the team together and see how everything is working," said Hurman. "But our hitting has been outstanding - especially today. I wasn't hitting the [catcher's] glove every time today pitching, but I got the job done and the defense was great."

The Cougars provided immediate support for Hurman with a three-run first inning.

Brooke Owen led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice from Amanda Santoni and, after Dahlen singled to put runners on first and third, Brittany Owen smashed a two-run triple to deep right. Danielle Gibson followed with a run-scoring single for the 3-0 lead.

Trailing 4-0, the Indians got within 4-3 after scoring twice in the fourth - Amanda Ward's run-scoring triple to left was the key hit - and again in the sixth, but the Cougars answered with two in the bottom of the sixth and then Hurman retired the visitors in order in the seventh.

It was the end of a busy and productive opening week for the Indians, who went 3-1 against four ranked opponents.

IND coach Greg Ehrman will certainly take it, including the way his ballclub fought to get back in the game yesterday. Earlier in the week, the Indians came back from a 5-0 deficit to beat No. 14 Archbishop Spalding, 6-5.

"This team is working on finding its identity this year, and one of the things we've seen is the tenacity to come back when we've been down," said Ehrman.

On the other side, Hurman is looking to find her identity.

After two years on the junior varsity and then serving as a spot starter behind graduated All-Metro pitcher Lindsay Ettinger, she's looking to make the most of her chance to shine on the mound.

"It's awesome," she said. "Last year, I didn't play much, so nobody really knew about me. So now I'm trying to show everyone I can do it and I know it takes the whole team and I have a great one behind me."

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