It's becoming apparent, at least for the time being, that the Glen Burnie softball team has Chesapeake's number.
With a 3-2 win yesterday, the visiting No. 5 Gophers recorded their second win in as many tries this season against the perennial Anne Arundel County power, and third straight dating to last year's regional semifinals.
This time, however, Glen Burnie got a little help from an unexpected source. The third-ranked Cougars, themselves.
Five Chesapeake errors led to one unearned run and helped set up two others. Staked with a lead, Gophers starter Jen Zabetakis then took care of the rest, pitching a complete-game four-hitter and thwarting a seventh-inning rally by stranding the potential tying and winning runs in scoring position.
"It's hard to beat Chesapeake once, much less [three times]," said Gophers coach Bob Broccolino. "Chesapeake always has a good team. They're usually not going to beat themselves."
To Chesapeake coach Dennis Thiele, however, the Cougars came pretty close.
"The team that made the fewest mistakes won the game," said Thiele. "Both teams made mistakes out there, but ours cost us pretty dearly. I can't remember a game where we've had this many errors."
With the Cougars (8-3 overall, 4-2 in the Anne Arundel North Division) leading 1-0 -- the direct result of a Gophers error -- Chesapeake's follies began in earnest. With one out in the third, Jen Lanham reached second on a throwing error. Courtesy runner Jeri Haaganson took third on a passed ball and scored on Michelle Whelan's groundout to make it 1-1.
Glen Burnie (10-2, 5-1) took the lead for good in the sixth courtesy of two more miscues. Bonnie Nevin walked and went to third after back-to-back wild pitches by Chesapeake starter Missy Silvers.
A batter later, she scored on Jessica Willis' groundout, but Willis advanced to third on another throwing error. She then scored on Marianne Ogle's single to left, extending the lead to 3-1.
Zabetakis said the final inning got a bit too hairy. After Julie French and Angie Zittle started the inning by reaching base, with Zittle eventually scoring on a close play at the plate, Zabetakis managed to slam the door, striking out Allisa Gibson to end the game.
"I was a little nervous about [facing them again] because they were seeing the same thing for the third time," said Zabetakis. "I figured maybe I'd get lucky again."
As the Gophers learned yesterday, sometimes it's helpful to be both lucky and good.
No. 10 South River 3, No. 8 Severna Park 1: Jennifer O'Neill's one-hitter (seven strikeouts) and Becky Preston's two-run home run in the fifth helped the Seahawks beat the host Falcons (8-6).
Pub Date: 4/26/97