CHATHAM, NJ - And on the 17th day, the Chatham softball team rested.
The Lady Cougars have played 13 games in 16 days and after they won their 11th game of the season, 3-0 over Montville on Wednesday, first-year head coach Brian Figueiredo told them it was time for a break and gave the team two days off.
"We've played 13 games since we took the field on April 5th," Figueiredo said. "We don't play till Monday, so let's take a little breath and let them enjoy."
Excellent pitching, timely hitting and good defense sent Chatham (11-2) into its four-day break from games with a good feeling about its season to date.
Junior right-hander Melissa Landry pitched her second straight two-hit shutout to win her sixth game of the season. She struck out eight and walked one. Freshman Anna Lengner backed Landry with a double, a single and two runs scored.
Montville (2-7) made a bid to take the lead in the second after Izzy Bressman singled, was bunted over to second and reached third on a wild pitch. But Landry notched a strikeout to end the inning.
Lengner, Chatham's other pitcher on the varsity roster, led off bottom of the second inning with a rising liner that carried over the left fielder's head for a double. She moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Caroline Viscovich's grounder to short for a 1-0 lead.
"I just try and make solid contact," Lengner said. "Where it goes is where ever it goes."
Montville had runners on second and third in the fourth. The Lady Cougars thwarted the rally when third baseman Hallie Pellegrin made a nice play on a bunt and threw the batter out at first base.
In the top of the sixth, Montville had a runner on third with one out and Figueiredo called time out to talk it over.
"We didn't want the inning to snowball," Figueiredo said. "We wanted to make sure we got the out. If we go four (throw home) it has to be a definite. If not, get the out at first. (Landry) threw a screwball on her hands and Mel did what she knows how to do."
Landry made a nice grab on a come backer, looked the runner back to third and threw to first for the second out. She then induced a pop to Pellegrin at third to escape the jam.
"We weren't sure if she was going to do a suicide squeeze," catcher Viscovich said. "When they didn't do that, the ball was hit right to Mel and she made a nice play. That gave us confidence that she was going to get out of it."
Chatham scored two insurance runs in the sixth. Camryn Davies drew a one-out walk, stole second and moved to third on a groundout. After Lengner was walked intentionally, Viscovich hit a ball that was misplayed, allowing Davies to score.
"I knew I needed to put the ball in play to make something happen and it worked out well," Viscovich said.
Hallie Pellegrin followed with a line double to right, knocking home Lengner for a 3-0 cushion.
Landry closed out her gem by striking out the side in the seventh.
"For me, personally, the parents have been great and the administration has been fantastic since I was hired," Figueiredo said of his first season. "It's been a really great experience from day one. It's just been a positive experience all the way around."
Camryn Davies steals second in the sixth inning and went to score the second run of the game for Chatham
Caroline Viscovich puts the ball in play and Camryn Davies scores from third to make it 2-0 for Chatham