Softball: Julie Swarr hits a two-run triple as No. 1 Sherwood tops Blair, 2-0

May 3

Sherwood junior second baseman Julie Swarr stepped into the batter’s box with runners on the corners, two outs in the top of the seventh and the Warriors’ 55-game winning streak on the line.

Swarr and the rest of the Warriors haven’t forgotten that Blair was the last team to beat them on May 20, 2011, and with one swing of the bat, she kept the streak intact. She took the first pitch outside but lined the following pitch to left field.

Swarr immediately dropped the bat and turned her stride to another gear as she slid in for a two-run triple to help Sherwood edge Blair, 2-0, in Silver Spring on Saturday afternoon.

“I didn’t want that first pitch outside. I just had to get into the zone, and everyone was cheering for me,” Swarr said. “Then the next pitch was inside, and I turned on it and ripped it.”

Swarr’s triple was one of just three Warriors hits, a small number for a team that came into Saturday’s game averaging 14 runs per game.

Top-ranked Sherwood (14-0) had trouble making contact on Blair senior ace Annie Pietanza, who struck out four batters in the complete game. Time and time again, Warriors batters were caught chasing her wicked riseball, and she pulled the string with a change-up that drew the praise of the home crowd.

“It was pretty tough hitting her,” Swarr said. “She kept throwing me outside, but you have to adjust. Usually we have slow pitching, but today there was a lot of movement.”

Sherwood senior pitcher Meggie Dejter opened the first inning by hitting two of the first three batters. She bounced back from the early struggles to induce a swinging strikeout with two outs and runners on second and third.

“I didn’t have command of the screwball, and I was just coming way out — and that’s what happens,” Dejter said. “Since I knew the screwball wasn’t working, I went to my drop curve.”

She kept her curveball on the outside half of the plate to strike out seven batters. The Blazers kept pressure on Dejter as eight runners reached base, but the Warriors’ stout defense kept Blair (15-2) off the board.

“The defense is solid. They’re good players,” first-year Sherwood Coach Ashley Barber-Strunk said. “It’s partly Meggie knowing what she has to do and the players backing her up. It’s not the pitcher’s job to win the game. It’s the team’s.”

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