Lori Congdon of Chesapeake of Anne Arundel County was not a big hit with Frederick last night.
Congdon used her vast arsenal of pitches to keep the Frederick batters off-balance as she struck out 14 and threw a three-hitter to lead the top-ranked Cougars to a 2-0 victory in the Class 4A state title game at Randazzo Softball Park.
It was Chesapeake's third straight state title and fourth in the last five years. The Cougars finished 20-1 this season.
Congdon, who was 13-0 this season, said she used five or six pitches and all were working perfectly against Frederick (20-3). She had the Cadets swinging early, swinging late and missing over and over again.
"I think that's what makes me effective," said Congdon. "Everything was working tonight."
Two of the most effective pitches were a rising fastball and a drop. Time and again, she had Cadets chasing the rising pitch or being frozen with the drop.
"She just kept us off-balance," said Frederick coach Ed Remus. "She's a great pitcher, no doubt."
Chesapeake coach Dennis Thiele praised his pitcher for her ability to keep Frederick puzzled.
"She was phenomenal," said Thiele.
The only Cadet who did hit the pitcher with any degree of authority was shortstop Keli Rousseau. She singled to left field in the second inning and to center field in the fifth.
Congdon would get revenge later, though.
Chesapeake scored its first run in the bottom of the second inning. Jaime Long led off with a single, and, one out later, the Cougars loaded the bases when Michelle Arch and Michelle Manner singled.
Nancy Yeager then blooped one to short right. It fell in, but right fielder Nicole Hammond threw to Karen Schaffran to force Manner at second. Meanwhile, Long scored to give Chesapeake a 1-0 lead.
Long accounted for the second Chesapeake run in the fourth. She led off by lining a Terri Summers pitch into the gap in left-center. The ball split the outfielders and rolled deep into the outfield, and Long rounded the bases with little trouble.
Frederick had just one threat, getting a runner to third in the fifth, but Congdon fanned the next two to escape.
Opposing pitcher Summers, who allowed only six hits and pitched strongly herself, got the Cadets' final hit on an infield single just in front of the plate in the seventh.
Congdon, however, finished the game and season in style. She fanned Christine Lovett, Amy Dominowski and, finally, Rousseau claim the state title.
Lisa Hutton threw a one-hitter to spark Bohemia Manor past Clear Spring, 10-3, for the state title.
Bohemia Manor (14-5) jumped to an 8-0 lead after 2 1/2 innings and cruised the rest of the way. Hutton struck out three and gave up only a sixth-inning single to Karri Kline of Clear Spring (19-2).
Marci Whitehead struck out 16 and allowed only two hits to lead Damascus past Elkton, 5-1, for the state title.
Whitehead, who threw 11 no-hitters and a national-record six perfect games this year, gave up a first-inning single to Jen Weaver and a run-scoring single to Heather Hughes in the fifth. Whitehead did not give up an earned run all season and pitched each game for the Hornets (20-0).
She finished her career with 30 no-hitters and 10 perfect games. Her fastball, timed at 62 mph, was too much for Elkton, which finished at 15-3.