Milligan helps 'Jacks advance in region

HAGERSTOWN – Rachael Milligan threw a three-hitter as top-seeded Chesapeake College edged fourth-seeded College of Southern Maryland, 1-0, Saturday afternoon in the NJCAA Division II Region XX women's softball tournament.

Chesapeake (32-6) used the win to reach Sunday morning's 11 a.m. winners' bracket final against second-seeded Potomac State College of West Virginia University (30-7).  The Catamounts topped sixth-seeded Frederick Community College, 3-1, in Saturday's other winners' bracket semifinal.

"They're really tough," Chesapeake head coach Durrie Hayes said of Potomac State, which split a doubleheader with Chesapeake earlier this season.  "They have strong pitching and big hitters, but so do so."

Tori Hughes knocked in the game's only run with a single that plated Cat Ramagnano, who led off the home first with a walk, stole second and took third on a groundout.  Milligan (17-2) did the rest, striking out 13 with just two walks as she set a single-season team record for victories.

"She was working it today," Hayes said of Milligan.

The Hawks had a couple of offensive threat, including one in the top of the seventh.  Allison McLain led off with a double, but Milligan retired the next three hitters, including the final two on strikeouts to end the game.

CSM ace Lori Sturgill, who came into the contest with 13 wins, threw a two-hitter while blanking the Skipjacks in their final five innings at the plate.  Abby Nelson joined Hughes as the only Skipjacks with hits.

After losing to Chesapeake, Southern Maryland (23-19) stayed alive by eliminating Frederick, 8-2, in a losers' bracket contest.  Southern Maryland will play the loser of Sunday's winners' bracket contest between Chesapeake and Potomac State in the 1 p.m. losers' bracket final.

The title game will take place at 3 p.m.  The "if" game – if necessary – is scheduled for 5 p.m.  However, that game will be played on Monday if the loser of Sunday's winners' bracket final is involved.   That is because a team cannot be required to play four games in one day.