Skipjacks sweep Montgomery College

WYE MILLS – Chesapeake College finished off a dominant women's softball regular season in familiar fashion, posting another shutout and pounding two more homers in each end of the doubleheader Wednesday afternoon while sweeping visiting Montgomery College, 8-0 and 9-5.

Rachael Milligan (16-2) blanked the Raptors on one hit over four innings in the opener as Chesapeake (31-6 overall, 17-1 conference) logged its 13th shutout of the season.  That victory allowed Milligan to tie Kellieanne Tyner's 2013 single-season team mark for wins.

"To get that many [wins] when we have three good pitchers is a real accomplishment," said Chesapeake head coach Durrie Hayes, whose squad finished three games ahead of second-place CCBC-Catonsville (30-18, 14-4) while claiming the program's first undisputed state title since 1981.

"Winning the conference outright for the first time in 35 years – we're certainly very pleased with that," added Hayes, whose top-seeded Skipjacks will be looking to add their first NJCAA Division II Region XX crown since 2009 to the state title.

Savannah Miller (2-for-3) slammed a two-run homer as part of a five-run first and Kristina Shank (3-for-4) hit a third-inning solo shot in support of Milligan, who struck out 11 and walked two.  Courtney Stubbs (two RBI) and Kristen Catlin each walked with the bases loaded to highlight of a two-run second.

Abby Nelson (two doubles), Tori Hughes (RBI), Brittney Platt (double), and Caroline Clarry each had two hits as part of Chesapeake's 14-hit attack.

The Skipjacks bunched seven hits in the first three innings of Game 2 against Montgomery's colorfully named ace, Special Zeno, who came into the game with 101 strikeouts on the season.

"It's nice to know we can still hit fast pitching," Hayes said after Platt hit a three-run homer during a four-run first and Cat Ramagnano (2-for-4) cracked a three-run shot as part of a five-run third.  Chesapeake vaulted to third in the state in home runs with 15 thanks to yesterday's four.

Two fifth-inning runs also scored on Catlin's perfect suicide squeeze, which was misplayed by the Raptor (16-12, 8-10) defense.

Platt's homer helped wipe out an early 2-0 deficit against the Raptors.  Hughes had a double among her two hits in Game 2.

Chesapeake's Game 2 starter, Kara Wood, yielded three runs on five hits over two-plus innings before giving way to Chloe Day, who allowed a pair of runs on three hits with five strikeouts and a walk in four innings.  Milligan pitched a perfect seventh inning.

The Skipjacks, who finished a 12-2 regional campaign on Sunday, earned a bye directly into the double-elimination portion of the regional tournament, which will be played May 6-8 at Hagerstown Community College.

Chesapeake will play a winners' bracket region semifinal next Friday at noon against the winner between fourth-seeded College of Southern Maryland (20-17 overall, 10-6 region) and fifth-seeded Cecil College (19-12, 6-8), which is one of three best-of-three matchups this weekend between the other six teams in the tournament.

In the other half of the draw, second-seeded Potomac State College (27-7, 15-3) plays seventh-seeded Hagerstown (9-24, 4-10), and third-seeded CCBC-Catonsville (9-5 regional record) takes on sixth-seeded Frederick Community College (13-22, 5-9).  The victors play in next Friday's 2 p.m. winners' bracket semifinal.

The winners' bracket final is next Saturday at noon, followed by a pair of losers' bracket contests.  The finals are Sunday at noon with the "if" game, if necessary at 2 p.m.