COLLEGE PARK – Junior leftfielder Marisa Mancini caught the final out to seal Sherwood’s 4-0 victory over Northwest Saturday in the 4A state championship game at Maryland Softball Stadium.
Sherwood hasn’t lost a game since 2011 and set a new state record for consecutive wins this season.
“It’s the hard work that we put in and what they get out of it,” said Sherwood second-year head coach Ashley Barber-Strunk.
The win marked Sherwood’s fourth consecutive state title and sent seniors Nicole Stockinger and Julie Swarr out with a bang.
The four-year varsity players will graduate from the Sandy Spring public school with a perfect 83-0 record and plenty of hardware to show for it.
“[It was an] unbelievable group of girls coming in from the beginning with Julie,” said Stockinger, a Towson University signee. “We just work hard every day and it just happened that way and we didn’t lose a game.”
Sherwood (21-0) led Montgomery County rival Northwest 1-0 in the fifth inning before the Warriors erupted for three more insurance runs.
“We knew we had to tack on some more runs,” said Stockinger.
Mancini, who batted 2-for-3, led off the inning with a stand-up double and later scored on Swarr’s RBI double to put Sherwood ahead, 2-0. The Warriors added two more runs to take a seemingly comfortable lead into the sixth inning.
Standout junior pitcher Jaime Schmier, who compiled a 20-0 record on the mound this season, struck out seven Northwest batters, yielded three hits and gave up one walk in the championship game.
“[She was] unbelievable all year,” said Stockinger. “People thought with Meggie [Dejter] our great pitcher who graduated last year, Jaime had to start her new mark and begin her own legacy so that’s definitely what she did.”
The Sherwood dynasty could continue next season sans the return of Stockinger and Swarr.
“We are losing two big players,” said Schmier, “but I think we’re going to be OK because we’ve got a lot of people in the lineup who can hit.”