Skipjacks Milligan, Ramagnano selected for all-state, all-region softball first teams

Rachael Milligan, Chesapeake College's record-setting sophomore pitcher, and freshman outfield teammate Cat Ramagnano were each selected first-team all-NJCAA Division II Region XX and first-team all-Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference.

Freshman pitcher Chloe Day joined Milligan and Ramagnano on the all-state first team and was a second-team all-Region XX selection.  The trio helped Chesapeake run away with the conference crown, finishing three games ahead of second-place CCBC-Catonsville.

Milligan (17-3, 1.26 earned-run average) set a team record for victories in a season and finished with 17 complete games.  The Queen Anne's County High graduate also tied CCBC-Catonsville's Kimberlee Cook for the league lead in victories.

Milligan – who struck out 169 batters against 57 walks in 127 2/3 innings – finished 9-0 in conference games with a microscopic 0.38 league ERA.

"Rachael was clearly the best pitcher in the conference," said Chesapeake head coach Durrie Hayes.  "She had the 10th-lowest ERA in the nation and ranked 4th nationally in strikeouts per seven innings.  And she always got the big games. We always tried to match Rachael up against the other team's ace."

Ramagnano, a Severna Park High graduate, hit .368 with four homers, 29 RBI and a team-best 55 runs scored.  The Skipjacks' center fielder finished second in the state in stolen bases with 35 and hit .462 in league games.

"Cat may very well be the best athlete I have coached at Chesapeake – certainly one of the top two with Jordan Wright," said Hayes, referring to a former all-American from North Dorchester High.  "Cat has plus-speed, a plus-arm, power, defense and hit almost .400. That's all five tools and she is above average to plus in every one of them."

Day (11-2, 1.12 ERA) struck out 82 in 81 1/3 innings with 12 complete games.  The Great Mills High/St. Mary's County graduate's conference ERA was nearly as impressive as Milligan's at 0.39.

"Chloe was a bit of a surprise for us," said Hayes.  "She threw well in the fall but wasn't always consistent. Our conditioning program apparently helped her because come spring time she was popping the ball.

"She ended up throwing in the high 50's and has a nasty curve," added Hayes.  "She also came a long way with her change up. Her stats show how well she did, and one that really stands out is the walks allowed. I think she allowed at most five unintentional walks in over 81 innings. That's just unheard of. I have had control pitchers before, but not like Chloe."

Day, Milligan and Chesapeake's third starting pitcher, sophomore Kara Wood (4-3, 1.82 ERA), were second, third and fourth, respectively, in the state in earned-run average as the Skipjacks led the state with a 1.33 ERA.  Chesapeake's pitching staff also led the state in strikeouts (288) and allowed the fewest runs (85) and the second-fewest earned runs (48) in the conference.

"Our pitching this year was phenomenal," said Hayes.  "All three of them worked very hard on their craft and it showed all year. The staff ranked 4th in the nation in ERA and all three were in the top 25, with Chloe eighth, Rachael 10th and Kara 25th."

That pitching, and a high-powered offense led by Ramagnano, helped the Skipjacks (32-8) finish 17-1 in the conference while winning their first undisputed state crown since 1981.  Chesapeake was the top seed in the NJCAA Division II Region XX tournament, but finished third after consecutive, 3-2 losses to Potomac State College and the College of Southern Maryland following a 1-0, opening-game win over CSM.