Sherwood Softball Defeats Glen Burnie To Take Second Straight State Crown

by Eric Meany

Sherwood rode the pitching of Meggie Dejter and the offense of first baseman Megan McDonough (back) to victory over Glen Burnie

Sherwood rode the pitching of Meggie Dejter and the offense of first baseman Megan McDonough to victory over Glen Burnie.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — A year after capturing its fist state title in a tense one-run battle with Chesapeake under the lights at Robert E. Taylor Stadium, the Sherwood High School softball team returned to College Park on Saturday. This time, with the sun shining brightly on a beautiful spring afternoon, the Warriors scored three first-inning runs on their way to a slightly less stressful 5-0 victory over Glen Burnie to give the team its second consecutive MPSSAA Class 4A state championship.

Junior Meggie Dejter struck out 10, walked one and allowed four hits in seven innings to pitch a championship-game shutout for the second year in a row. Senior first baseman Megan McDonough had a double, a triple and three runs batted in while shortstop Nicole Stockinger scored three runs and knocked in another to lead the Warriors offense.

“Last year everyone had that nervous energy,” Dejter said. “And it was at night, it was just — the hype was much bigger. This year, knowing that we won it last year we could come in really calm, really relaxed and know that we could just go out and do our thing.”

The win was the Warriors’ 42nd in a row over the past two seasons, their most recent loss being an 8-6 defeat at the hands of Blair in the 2011 4A West regional final.

“Forty-two straight wins, that’s pretty amazing,” Sherwood coach Pat Flanagan said. “And that’s what I kept telling them, you know — getting to the top is tough, staying there is tougher. And they bought into it. They didn’t look ahead, and that’s to their credit because that’s when teams sneak up on you and you lose a game that probably you shouldn’t lose.”

After Dejter set down the Gophers (16-7) in order in the top of the first, her teammates gave her all the run support she would need in the bottom half of the inning.

Glenn Burnie pitcher Ali Moos walked the first two Warriors she faced, and Nicole Stockinger then singled in Amelia Naik for the game’s first run. McDonough followed with a two-run triple to deep right field to make it 3-0 before Moos had recorded an out. But after Kelsey Lineberger reached on an infield single and stole second base, Moos avoided more damage with consecutive strikeouts of Rae Harrison and Kelly Bouma before Dejter was thrown out on a bunt attempt by shortstop Alyssa Allender.

The Warriors added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to round out their scoring on the day, a relatively light output for an offense that had averaged nearly 13 runs a game this season. Moos escaped a two-on two-out jam in the third inning by retiring Bouma on a ground ball back to the pitcher and was helped out of trouble in the fourth by a line-drive inning-ending double play.

Five runs proved to be plenty for Dejter, who only allowed one runner as far as third base.

“Getting those three runs right off the bat, it’s exactly what I want, what a pitcher asks for,” Dejter said. “I can go out and I can relax and pretty much just throw my game.”

One-out singles by Allender and Moos and a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Hogan put runners on second and third with two outs in the top of the third for Glen Burnie. But Dejter got Caitlyn Kirby to ground out to third base to end the threat.

The Gophers mounted their only other rally in the top of the sixth inning. With two outs, Dejter got ahead of Kirby 0-2 before missing with her next four pitches. Jessica Robinson then singled to put runners on first and second, but Dejter induced a ground ball to Lineberger at third base by Samantha Gilbert to keep the shutout intact.

In the top of the seventh Dejter sealed the victory in emphatic fashion, striking out the side to kick off the Sherwood’s second on-field championship celebration in as many years.

For McDonough, a Rider University recruit playing in her final high school game, the reality of what the Warriors were able to accomplish over the past two seasons was still sinking in thirty minutes after the final out.

“It feels just remarkable, and I don’t even — I can’t even believe that we did that,” McDonough said. “Two years in a row, undefeated seasons, it’s just so surreal. You can’t take that feeling away. It’s hard to describe, but it’s just an unbelievable feeling.”

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