Northwest (17-2) may have finished second to Clarksburg in the Montgomery 4A West regular season standings, but the Jaguars finished a season sweep of the Coyotes in a 5-4 Maryland 4A West final.
Defending Maryland 4A champion Sherwood (18-0) found its toughest test in the quarterfinal round of the Maryland 4A North Region tournament. After opening the tournament with 16-0 win over Paint Branch, Sherwood squeaked by Blake, 3-2, before toppling Westminster, 20-0, for its second straight region crown.
Sherwood needed a sacrifice fly by Nicole Stockinger with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh Wednesday to advance over Blake. Warriors Coach Pat Flanagan said she told Bengals ace Colleen Burkhardt that was the “finest” game she’d seen her pitch in four years of competition.
“I told her, ‘We’re lucky we got out of here with a win,’” Flanagan said Friday.
“I think being pushed . . . that’s good for the girls in preparation for the state semifinals and then hopefully the state final.”
Sherwood and Northwest will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a state semifinal at Bachman Softball Complex.
Northern keeps rolling
Only one region remains to be determined in Maryland 3A competition. Howard County foes Mount Hebron and River Hill square off Saturday at 2 p.m. to determine the Maryland 3A East representative in the state tournament.
Northern (20-0) looks to add to an unprecedented streak in the state tournament. The Patriots have won the past five Maryland 3A state championships and took home the South region crown by defeating Southern Maryland Athletic Conference rival Chopticon, 8-0, Friday.
“We’re very ecstatic to be leading the region and going to states again,” Coach Robert Earl Radford said. “It was a very, very satisfying win.”
“Our experience has been when we get out of the region, we seem to be very well prepared. I think that speaks to the level of play in our league. We’re going to do what we always do.”
Damascus (16-3) was never tested in the Maryland 3A East region, beating opponents by a combined 19-1. It will meet Eastern Technical on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a state semifinal.