For now, bragging rights belong to a scalding Northeast softball team.
The second-ranked Eagles extended their winning streak to 10 by thumping visiting and No. 4 Chesapeake-AA, 9-1, in the semi-annual battle between Pasadena rivals yesterday.
Northeast (15-3 overall, 11-3 in the county) split its season series with the Cougars - who won the first meeting, 4-3, on April 3 - but more importantly, remained tied with No. 6 North County for second place and a bid to the county title game on Wednesday.
The visiting Knights trumped No. 8 Glen Burnie, 11-0, in five innings yesterday to improve to 12-6 overall and 11-3 in the county.
"It's a stepping stone, a step on the ladder, but we still have two games left," said Eagles coach Marianne Shultz.
Northeast received a solid pitching performance from senior Rachel Herrick, who struck out seven and scattered six hits in the complete-game victory.
Herrick, who gave up a lone run on a Tracey Dahlen RBI single in the fifth inning, said she was able to mix a variety of pitches to confuse the Chesapeake batters.
"My screwball was working some, and I threw a couple of rise balls that worked," said Herrick, who is 6-0. "Sometimes it doesn't work, but that's my new pitch."
Herrick didn't have to worry about run support as her teammates battered Cougars sophomore Lindsay Ettinger (6-2) for 13 hits.
Five singles and an error through the first seven batters in the Eagles lineup staked them to a 4-0 lead after the first inning.
Northeast scored five more runs in the sixth, including a two-run single from catcher Melissa Tewey.
Third baseman Stephanie Adams went 3-for-4, drove in three runs and scored once. Left fielder Erin Hart also went 3-for-4 and scored twice, while right fielder Stephanie Baber went 2-for-3 and scored twice.
After sprinting to an 8-1 county mark, Chesapeake (12-5 overall, 10-4 county) has dropped three of its past five games and is losing ground in the race for a county championship bid.
Cougars coach Don Bishoff said he is mystified by his team's recent outings. "I wish I knew," Bishoff said when asked to pinpoint the source of his team's fall. "We're slumping, and the bats aren't producing the way they were at the beginning of the season. We have a week to turn it around."