The South County softball team entered Friday’s Virginia Class 6 final with a sense of déjà vu.

When the Stallions won their first state title in 2014, they also faced Cosby. They took a similar route to the championship game, losing the district tournament but winning the regional. They had a Martin and a Yates in the starting lineup — elder sisters of their current starting battery.

Despite the similarities, though, this season’s state final was memorable on its own. South County beat Cosby, 1-0, in a 17-inning marathon, the second-longest championship game in Virginia history.

Senior catcher Emma Yates turned to her sister Cara, who played for the 2014 team, for support leading into the state final. But she also admitted sibling rivalry provided an extra bit of motivation.


“She always joked with me, ‘You don’t have a state championship!’” Emma Yates said. “Now I do.”


In the 2014 state championship game, senior pitcher Rebecca Martin struck out 10 and allowed just three hits to lead the Stallions to a 4-1 win against Cosby. With her younger sister in the circle this time around, she was not shy about offering advice.

“Halfway through the game, she came into the dugout, she pushed people out of the way, and she yelled, ‘Cara!’ ” the younger Martin said. “She helped keep me in grounded and in the moment.”

Sisterly guidance, though, could only go so far. The 2014 state final ended in the standard seven innings. Emma Yates and Cara Martin had to play more than double that number, but in the end, they claimed a title of their own, and they were glad to have their sisters there to share in the celebration.


“Just having my sister here with me, that’s special,” Martin said.


1. Huntingtown (22-1) Last ranked: 1

The Hurricanes repeated as Maryland 3A state champions with a 2-0 win against Chesapeake in the state final.

2. Stone Bridge (27-1) Last ranked: 2

With a dominant 13-2 victory against Mountain View in the Virginia Class 5 final, the Bulldogs clinched their first state title.

3. South County (19-4) Last ranked: 5

Behind 20 strikeouts from sophomore pitcher Cara Martin, the Stallions edged Cosby, 1-0, in 17 innings for their second Virginia Class 6 state championship in six years.

4. Sherwood (21-1) Last ranked: 3

The Warriors won their sixth state title in eight years with an 8-7 victory against Glen Burnie in the Maryland 4A final.


5. Woodgrove (22-6) Last ranked: 6

Woodgrove appeared in its ninth straight state final — one for every year since the school opened — but could not secure a fourth consecutive title, falling 3-2 to William Byrd in the Virginia Class 3 final.


6. Chesapeake (20-4) Last ranked: 7

The Cougars earned their first state final bid since 2014 but lost, 2-0, to Huntingtown in the Maryland 3A championship game.

7. Glen Burnie (19-4) Last ranked: 8

Despite a four-run rally in the seventh inning, the Gophers came up just short in an 8-7 loss to Sherwood in the Maryland 4A final.

8. St. Mary’s Ryken (17-2-1) Last ranked: 9

The Knights nabbed their first Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title since 2015 with a 9-6 comeback win against three-time defending champion Bishop O’Connell.


9. La Plata (19-4) Last ranked: 10

Led by senior pitcher Ava Krahling, the Warriors beat Queen Anne’s, 9-0, in the Maryland 2A final to claim their third state title in four seasons.

10. Langley (21-6) Last ranked: 4

The Saxons won their first regional title since 1992 but lost, 7-1, to Cosby in the Virginia Class 6 semifinal.

On the bubble: Bishop O’Connell (20-5-1), Freedom (18-9), Marshall (21-6), Riverside (20-5)