No clear frontrunner emerged for the Virginia Class 6 state championship in the regular season, and rather than provide clarity, the postseason has muddied the picture further.
Reigning champion Madison entered the Region 6D tournament as the top seed, then the Warhawks (18-4) lost their first game of the tournament to McLean. The upset carried McLean to the semifinals, then the Highlanders (17-7) lost, 1-0, to a youth-laden Marshall squad.
With the victory, Marshall clinched a spot in the Class 6 state tournament, but the Statesmen (21-5) then lost the regional championship, 7-1, to Langley. Last season, the Statesmen bounced the Saxons from the regional tournament in the first round. This time, Langley (20-5) celebrated its first regional title since 1992.
In Region 6C, Lake Braddock (15-10) took down district champions West Potomac (11-10) and West Springfield (22-2) to earn a state tournament berth.
The only district champion representing Northern Virginia in the eight-team Class 6 state tournament will be Langley of the Liberty District. The Saxons will be appearing in their first state tournament since 2001.
Langley has won 16 of its last 17 games, and the Saxons will look to carry that momentum forward. Senior pitcher Megan Anderson allowed just two hits and no walks in the team’s regional final win against Marshall, and she likely will need to show similarly stinginess for her team to make a run at a state title.
Langley will host Region 6C runner-up Lake Braddock in the state quarterfinals at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, while Region 4C champion South County will host Region 6D runner-up Marshall. The winners will advance to the state semifinals Friday at Deep Run High in Glen Allen.
1. Huntingtown (22-1) Last ranked: 1
The Hurricanes claimed their second straight Maryland 3A state championship with a 2-0 win against Chesapeake.
2. Stone Bridge (24-1) Last ranked: 3
Junior Olivia Valbak had seven RBI as the Bulldogs bested Loudoun County rival Freedom, 11-6, in the Region 5C title game.
3. Sherwood (21-1) Last ranked: 4
Sherwood held off a late rally from Glen Burnie for an 8-7 win in the Maryland 4A final — their sixth title in eight years.
4. Langley (20-5) Last ranked: 8
Saxons junior Sidney Torres knocked in three runs as her team beat Marshall, 7-1, for the Region 6D title.
5. South County (16-4) Last ranked: NR
Stallions sophomore pitcher Cara Martin recorded 21 strikeouts in seven innings in a 3-0 victory against Lake Braddock in the Region 6C final.
6. Woodgrove (20-5) Last ranked: NR
A leadoff home run from senior catcher Maxine Barnes set the tone for the Wolverines in a 7-5 win against Riverside for the Region 4C championship.
7. Chesapeake (20-4) Last ranked: 5
Cougars senior pitcher Haley Downin did not give up any earned runs in the Maryland 3A championship game, but her team fell 2-0 to Huntingtown.
8. Glen Burnie (19-4) Last ranked: 7
The Gophers scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning of the Maryland 4A final but could not complete the comeback in an 8-7 loss to Sherwood.
9. St. Mary’s Ryken (17-2-1) Last ranked: 10
The Knights finished the season with a 9-6 extra-inning win against Bishop O’Connell to take their first Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title since 2015.
10. La Plata (19-4) Last ranked: NR
The Warriors won their second consecutive Maryland 2A state title and third in four seasons with a 9-0 win against Queen Anne’s.
Dropped out: No. 2 Madison (18-4); No. 6 West Springfield (22-2); No. 9 Riverside (20-4)
On the bubble: Marshall (21-5); Lake Braddock (15-10); Freedom (18-8); Bishop O’Connell (20-5-1)