Softball: Sherwood wins third straight Maryland 4A state championship

Sherwood’s “good luck charm” paced back and forth in a gravel lot behind third base. Tim Bradshaw, the Warriors’ bus driver to their state semifinal and final wins in 2012 and 2013, doesn’t like to watch from the stands. He’d rather find a place where he has room to wander if top-ranked Sherwood gets behind and he gets stressed.

Bradshaw grabbed onto the fence at Robert E. Taylor Stadium in College Park and declared that the Warriors were just testing Chesapeake in the first few innings. Now they were ready to start doing something big.

Two hits later Kelly Bouma’s three-run home run in the top of the fifth helped secure the 12-1 win against the Cougars and the Maryland 4A title. Bradshaw could relax. The only concern now was how rowdy the ride home would get with a bus load of players who captured the program’s third straight state championship.

The Warriors (19-0) took home their 62nd consecutive win as senior Meggie Dejter threw 87 pitches (54 strikes) and struck out five in her last high school game. Addie Armbruster started things off in the second with a two-run triple. The Cougars (16-7) scored their only run on a walk and an error. Bouma added a triple in the top of the sixth. The two teams last met in 2012. Sherwood took their first state title with that win and hasn’t lost since.

“As soon as we got that first run I felt comfortable,” Dejter said. “After that, it’s just the more the better.”

Sherwood crushes Chesapeake, 12-1, to win state championship. (Will Davidson IV for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

The Warriors are superstitious, Dejter said, and they wanted Bradshaw to drive them after taking them to their past two titles. It’s a tradition that likely will continue, given Sherwood’s underclassman talent.

“The younger girls have really stepped up, and it’s awesome to see them getting all these great hits,” Dejter said.

Bouma is only a sophomore and said she started crying from happiness after connecting for her home run.

“I knew we were going to start hitting stronger after that,” she said.

Towson-bound Dejter went into her senior year knowing she wanted to go out as a champion, and this tournament run fulfilled exactly that. Dejter and classmate Mary Beth Bidwick jumped up and down as they waited through postgame ceremonies, then skipped up to the trophy table to collect the championship plaque to take back to Olney.

Bradshaw lets them sing on the way home, Bouma said. Last year they belted out “We are the champions” on the drive back on Interstate 495, and this year it was likely to be the same.

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