Sherwood’s second straight appearance in the Maryland 4A softball final wrought the same results as last season, but in far less nerve-racking fashion Saturday.
One year after defeating Chesapeake, 1-0, to win their first softball championship in school history, the Warriors (21-0) pounced on Glen Burnie (16-7) with a three-run first inning to win, 5-0, at Robert E. Taylor Stadium at the University of Maryland.
“Last year we were so nervous. We were so uptight,” junior pitcher Meggie Dejter said.
“This year we just came out just really strong with a lot of energy. We were able to go through the game really relaxed.”
Dejter had steady nerves in the circle from the start. She retired Glen Burnie’s first three hitters, then Sherwood’s bats gave her the confidence to coast through the rest of the shutout.
The Warriors’ first two batters drew walks, and sophomore Nicole Stockinger brought one home with a hit. Senior first baseman Megan McDonough followed with a triple to deep center field that cleared the bases.
“All I’m thinking about is getting a hit,” McDonough said. “Being the [No.] 4 hitter, you have to be able to get runs in. You just have to be calm, cool and collected.”
Sherwood Coach Pat Flanagan, last year’s All-Met Coach of the Year, said McDonough broke out of a hitting slump in the playoffs.
The senior infielder put an exclamation point on her career by going 2 for 3 with a double, a triple and three RBI.
Dejter fanned 10 and escaped trouble in the third, when she allowed two of Glen Burnie’s four hits.
With two Gophers on base, Dejter threw out a runner on a bunt to first. Then she received help from third baseman Kelsey Lineberger, who fielded a hard-hit ball and completed a precise throw to first.
Dejter ended the game by striking out the side in the top of the seventh.
With the win, the Warriors have extended their two-year win streak to 42 games.
“As convinced as they were that they were going to pick up their second state championship,” Flanagan said, “I’m not going to argue with them.”