Gophers end Chesapeake's upset hopes Glen Burnie pitcher Whelan drives home winner in 4-3 game


Yesterday's start of the Class 4A East region playoffs was a simple case of survival of the fittest. Top-ranked Glen Burnie advanced, and No. 9 Chesapeake left Randazzo Park with the consolation "durability award."

After surviving a 12-inning first-round game against No. 7 Arundel with a 4-3 win, Chesapeake had to take on the Gophers 20 minutes later.

It took a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the seventh from Glen Burnie pitcher Michelle Whelan to make the Cougars finally surrender.

Whelan's sharply-hit ground ball up the middle scored two to send the Gophers (15-4) to the region semifinal with a 4-3 win. Glen Burnie will meet last night's North County-Westminster winner today at Randazzo Park.

Whelan said words from first-base coach Don Dzambo paid dividends.

"Mr. D always tells me to picture myself hitting the ball, and that's what I did. I just wanted to put the ball in play," said Whelan, who gave up seven hits and two earned runs to get the win.

After getting a two-out, two-run triple from Justine Wagner in the bottom of the 12th to erase a 3-2 Arundel lead in the opener, Chesapeake looked like it had a chance to pull its own double play, taking a 3-2 lead into the seventh against Glen Burnie.

But it wasn't to be. After loading the bases in the top of the inning with one out and failing to get an insurance run, the Cougars couldn't shut Glen Burnie down in the bottom of the inning.

Michelle Ogle got it started for the Gophers by lining a single to left. An infield error put runners on second and third and a walk loaded the bases for Whelan, who came through with the day's biggest hit.

Pub Date: 5/15/98

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