- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Chopticon got the boost it needed when shortstop Amber Wroble connected for an inside-the-park home run in the top of the fourth inning to take the 2-0 lead in Monday’s softball contest, rejuvenating the visitors on Leonardtown’s senior night.
“It was an outside pitch,” Wroble said. “I’m just glad I hit it. First one of this year.”
The Braves (13-6, 9-3 SMAC) tacked on three more runs in the sixth en route to a 5-0 victory to finish third in SMAC.
Chopticon head coach Kevin Cioppa said that his team can compete with anybody if they play their “A” game and they’re ready to do some hard work in practice before the playoffs begin. First-round action begins Thursday.
“The important thing is we can pick each other up,” Cioppa said. “If a couple of people make mistakes, everybody else picks them up. We put those mistakes behind us and we move forward and play well; that’s the important thing to put it behind you and keep on going. We like playing the other teams in the county and they were up for this game.”
Chopticon hurler Kelly Sothoron and Leonardtown pitcher Jasmyn Ogletree each went the distance.
Ogletree struck out seven and Sothoron sat six in the shutout and allowed three hits.
Ogletree made a heads-up double play in the second, throwing over to first baseman Cassidy Stanton who then threw the ball over to third baseman Katie Hammonds who laid the tag down on Wroble.
“It was a tough game,” Ogletree said. “We knew it was going to be tough. Chopticon’s a good team. It’s senior night and we really wanted to get a win for our girls, but it didn’t really turn out that way. All of my pitches were working for me though. I think my rise-ball and curveball have improved this year and they got me a couple strikeouts today.”
Leonardtown head coach Kim Schrader moved her lineup and some defensive positions around, with leadoff batter Laura Welch playing second base and Hammonds coming in from the outfield to man third.
Welch helped out freshman catcher Abby Nelson when she laid a tag on Chopticon’s Lauren Hirshman in the first on a throw down to second with two outs and Chopticon’s strong hitter Cheyenne Faunce on third ready to steal home. Faunce was 2 for 3 and reached base each at-bat.
It was the sixth when the Braves found their bats and capitalized. Third baseman Bailey Rawlings started off with a hard-hit ball to shortstop Sam Goodnow. The ball got past Goodnow and Rawlings made two bases out of it.
After a fielder’s choice to first surrendered Wroble, Shelley Cook laid down a bunt and beat out the throw, moving Rawlings to third.
Rawlings scored on a play at second base and Mary Norton connected for a double to left-center field. Norton finished with two doubles on the day. Ogletree came back to strike out Audrey Nealis for the second out.
Jayci Cristaudo, the Braves’ leadoff batter, went to a full count and knocked off a few foul balls and eventually walked. Sothoron followed with an RBI single to right to assist in the final run being scored.
“We have the potential to beat any team that we play, to be honest,” Faunce said. “We just need to play 100 percent when we do. We didn’t hit all that well today. We hit here and there and that’s what got us there.”
Leonardtown (6-11, 4-8) honored its seven seniors before the game and Schrader appointed all of the seniors as game captains.
Welch, a four-year varsity player, is attending Stevenson University and plans to major in elementary education. Three-year varsity player Sarah Straub will attend Chesapeake College with a nursing major.
Stanton, a three-year varsity player, is headed to Ferrum College (Va.) and has chosen marine biology as her major. Goodnow will attend Geneva College, a Christian college in Beaver Falls, Pa., and plans to major in elementary education.
Jennifer Burch, Sarah Morley and Hammonds all are staying local to attend the College of Southern Maryland. Burch plans to study to become a paramedic and Morley has chosen chemical engineering, while Hammonds will study physical therapy.
Chopticon 5, Leonardtown 0
Chopticon 001 103 0 5 8 4
Leonardtown 000 000 0 0 3 3
WP Sothoron, LP Ogletree
Extra-base hits: 2B Norton (C) 2; HR Wroble (C)