Potomac State Softball repeats as region champion, heads back to National Tourney

Potomac State Softball Region XX Champs
By MIKE MATHEWS mmathews@times-news.com

HAGERSTOWN — Potomac State smashed six home runs on the day, with Beth Cook hitting three, and the second-seeded Catamounts beat top-seeded Chesapeake 3-2 in eight innings and overwhelmed third-seeded Southern Maryland 12-0 to win the Region XX, Division II softball championship Sunday at Hagerstown Community College

The win gives Head Coach Jim Walton’s team a second straight region title and trip to the National Tournament. The Catamounts, 16-1 in their last 17 games, head to Clinton, Mississippi for the National Tournament with a 32-7 record, the 32 wins tying the school’s single-season record.

Cook, Josie Clark, Danica Rogers and Chelsea Shepherd were named to the all-tournament team from Potomac State.

The Catamounts, who beat fourth-seeded Frederick 3-1 on Saturday, had split a doubleheader with top-seeded Chesapeake during the regular season. Sunday’s game was tied 2-2 until Cook’s solo home run in the top of the eighth.

Rogers tossed a scoreless bottom of the eighth and finished with a four-hitter with six walks and seven strikeouts for the win.

Potomac State took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a solo homer by Clark. Chesapeake tied it with an unearned run in the third, and the Catamounts reclaimed the lead, 2-1 in the sixth, when Cook walked and scored on a double by Clark.

Again, Chesapeake tied it with an unearned run, this time in the bottom of the sixth, and it remained 2-2 until Cook’s homer off the left-center field scoreboard with two outs in the first extra-inning.

Cook, a sophomore and former high school standout at Moorefield, finished with a homer and two singles and Clark homered and doubled.

Victoria Hughes doubled and singled for Chesapeake (32-8).

Southern Maryland, after beating Chesapeake 3-2 in an elimination game, faced Potomac State in the championship game. The two had split two regular-season games.

The Catamounts dominated this one from the start, scoring five runs in the first inning and building a 7-0 lead after two. They hit four home runs, with Cook belting a two-run shot in the big first inning and adding a solo shot in the fourth.

Carly Nixon had a solo homer in the second inning and Christina Collins hit a solo homer in the sixth.

The Catamounts unleashed a 20-hit attack, with Cook’s two homers, single and four RBIs leading the way. Shepherd slashed four singles, Nixon had a homer, three singles and two RBIs, Collins a homer and single, Ruby Fridley a double and single, and Kendall Kiplinger three singles and an RBI.

Cook tossed a seven-hit shutout, walking only one and striking out four.