Sherwood shortstop Nicole Stockinger and her teammates have had to find new ways to push themselves during their 59-game winning streak, and the ceiling continued to elevate during Tuesday’s Maryland 4A state semifinal against Bowie. After Stockinger opened the game with an inside-the-park home run, she was coasting on her way to another in the third inning until an umpire ruled the ball foul as she approached third base.
Stockinger kept calm and worked the pitcher for three more pitches before sending a line drive down the third base line again. That time, she stretched a routine single into a narrow double. A few moments later, she tried to score a run from second after a Bowie passed ball. She was called out at the plate. It was a rare mistake for Stockinger and the Warriors on Tuesday, but it underscored the team’s approach in the final week of the season: Sherwood is holding nothing back in its push for a third consecutive state title.
“We’re never satisfied. We just keep going. Like, we just want to keep adding runs every inning,” Stockinger said. “I just wanted keep being aggressive.”
Stockinger had two of Sherwood’s 13 hits, and senior ace Meggie Dejter struck out nine as the Warriors cruised to a 10-0 win over the Bulldogs at Bachman Park in Glen Burnie to earn a third consecutive trip to the 4A state final.
Sherwood (19-0) needed just five innings to set up a state championship date with Chesapeake, which defeated Blair in the other semifinal Tuesday night. The Warriors defeated the Cougars in 2012 to win their first title.
Bowie (17-2) entered the night having scored 50 combined runs in its three postseason appearances this spring, but it had no answer at the plate against Dejter. Crafting her approach with a dominant curveball early in the game, Dejter made adjustments when Bowie started to crouch up in the box — and Dejter responded with a nasty serving of screwballs. She struck out the side in the second inning and allowed just two hits on the night.
“You never really know how you’re going to perform, and what you’re going to get in the other team,” Dejter said. “I think we came out here with this intensity, and it really just paid off.”
The Warriors were sparked by Stockinger’s eighth home run of the season in the first inning, and the entire lineup teed off the rest of the way. Four Warriors — Kelly Bouma, Rae Harrison, Amanda Berkley and Dejter — had multiple hits during the second and third innings to fuel eight runs, four coming with two outs in the third inning.
Sherwood has scored seven or more runs in each of its past four games entering this weekend’s final against Chesapeake.
“We kind of know what we’re going to get,” Dejter said. “We just need to bring the intensity we brought to this game. Bring it to that game, and I think as long as we play our game, we feel pretty good about it.”