Rohrer stepped in and stepped up, winning the chance to pitch for the defending Virginia AA state champions. She found the intensity of practices in Purcelville eclipsed anything she saw on game day for the junior varsity team.
With 17 girls on the roster, the seventh-ranked Wolverines are at least two deep at every position.
“Basically, you have to compete for every spot here at Woodgrove,” Rohrer said.
After winning their first seven AA Dulles District games behind Rohrer’s strong arm, the Wolverines dropped a 3-2 contest to rival Loudoun County on April 12. After the game, Loudoun County Coach Richard Sullivan could only shake his head at the unfamiliar opposing pitcher who struck out 10 batters.
“I’ve never heard of her,” Sullivan said with admiration. “I don’t know where [Woodgrove Coach Joe Spicer] keeps finding them.”
Since that one-run defeat, Woodgrove (12-2, 11-1) has won four straight games by a margin of 41-3. Last week the Wolverines recouped a spot near the top of the district by dominating Briar Woods.
Rohrer recorded a shutout after fanning 14 in a 7-0 victory.
“Every game it seems like she’s getting better,” Spicer said. “Her confidence is starting to grow, and she’s starting to become one of those dominant-type pitchers that’s going to come after you instead of waiting for things to happen.”
Under the pressure of replacing a successful pitcher for a team with high standards, Rohrer said she just tries to clear her mind.
“It’s basically all mental,” she said. “I just do what I know how to do, just muscle memory.”
Along with Rohrer, Spicer credited junior Rachel Harris as a newfound leader embracing an augmented role on the club. Harris hit three home runs against Briar Woods, giving her six for the season and putting her in a tie for second-most in the area.
Harris has found success since moving from second base to catcher, and Spicer said he’s still working to define roles for everyone on the team. He said this makes Woodgrove tough to scout, which is nice, but he doesn’t enjoy the inability to predict his own team’s performance.
No matter the outcome in games, internal competition is still a constant for Spicer’s squad.
“Not once in three years have I had to talk about working hard,” Spicer said. “That’s huge, because they know that if they develop a work ethic that they’re hard to replace.”
Northern hosts O’Connell on Saturday in a clash of the area’s top two teams. . . . Stone Bridge defeated previously ranked McLean, 12-1, in a statement game in the Virginia AAA Liberty District. . . . South County avenged an early season loss to Lake Braddock in a 10-1 win. . . . Glenelg has outscored opponents 133-31.
1. Northern (13-0) LW: 1
2. O’Connell (17-0) LW: 2
3. Sherwood (11-0) LW: 3
4. Stone Bridge (12-1) LW: 4
5. Glenelg (14-0) LW: 5
6. South County (12-1) LW: 7
7. Woodgrove (11-2) LW: NR
8. Atholton (11-1) LW : NR
9. Lake Braddock (10-1) LW: 6
10. National Cathedral (8-0) LW: NR
Dropped out: No. 8 McLean, No. 9 La Plata, No. 10 Briar Woods
Records through Tuesday
Related: Softball leaders