Sherwood senior girls carry on a five-year tradition with perfection

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SANDY SPRING – Kelly Bouma, Marisa Mancini and McKenzie Bina don’t know what it feels like to lose a high school softball game.

The three seniors have played on Sherwood’s varsity squad since they were freshmen. The Warriors have won five state championships in as many years; Bina, Bouma and Mancini have been there for four of them.

Sherwood softball’s undefeated streak began the year before the three girls started high school. Captains and best friends Bouma and Bina said that their softball careers were heavily influenced by the leadership of the upperclassmen.

“Kelly and I looked up to the captains from previous years to see how they led the team,” said Bina.


Sherwood softball boasts incredible record

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This spring the Sherwood softball team extended its winning streak to 103 consecutive games thanks to the efforts of talented seniors such as Jaime Schmier, McKenzie Bina, Kelly Bouma and others but the foundation was laid a few years ago.

The Sherwood softball dynasty began in 2012 when the Warriors captured the first of their string of five consecutive state championships.

However, Pat Flanagan, who took over the program in 1996, recalled the last time Sherwood lost a game. During the spring of 2011, the Warriors fell to Blair in the postseason.

“We lost to my good friend Louie Hoelman,” said Flanagan. “That was [former Sherwood pitcher Meggie] Dejter’s freshman year.”



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Sherwood girls claim fifth state title in as many years

Sherwood state champions 2The Sherwood softball team celebrates as Chopticon junior Lily Sager walks past, following Sherwood's fifth straight state title. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE


COLLEGE PARK – As the Sherwood varsity softball team gathered on the pitch for the post state championship game photo Friday at Maryland Softball Stadium, all the players faced the camera except one.

Senior outfielder Madi Marks had her back to the photographer, displaying her jersey number. Marks wears number five.

For Sherwood, the number five held an extra special meaning.

The undefeated Warriors claimed their fifth state championship crown in five years with their 7-2 victory over Chopticon from St. Mary’s County. Friday’s game marked Sherwood’s tenth appearance in a state title game. The Braves (19-4) hadn’t participated in the state finals since 1985.


Cruz shines as Blair girls takes region with a shutout

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20160520 Blair vs Clarksburg-8Blair's Karylena Cruz celebrates a two run blast that helped seal the deal as Blair shutout Clarksburg 3-0 to take the regional crown. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE

SILVER SPRING – Blair senior pitcher Karylena Cruz shined at the plate and on the diamond in the Blazers’ 3-0 home victory Friday over Clarksburg.

Cruz, who earned the win, also belted a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to catapult the Blazers to the 4A West Region title for the second year in a row.


Blair girls win a seesaw playoff battle against B-CC

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home run picBlair celebrates as they win against B-CC in the opening rounds of the Maryland 4A Softball Championship series. PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH

SILVER SPRING – Monday’s varsity softball playoff game between Blair and Bethesda – Chevy Chase had all the qualities of a game in a sports movie: multiple lead changes, two tremendous comebacks, a narrow defeat, an unlikely victory.

Blair freshman pitcher and University of Maryland commit Courtney Wyche came up to bat at the bottom of the seventh inning. The Blazers had blown a 4-3 lead at the top of the seventh, only to string four runs together a few minutes later.

The score was tied 8-8 as Wyche slid the tip of her bat across the plate. The bases were loaded. Wyche took aim and slammed the ball across the field.

Senior Mildred Devereux leaped from third base and ran home. The Blazers pulled off a 9-8 victory, a victory that seemed unlikely when they trailed the Barons twice.


Sherwood pounds Blake 12-0

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MP2 0980Jamie Schmier. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER

SANDY SPRING-Sherwood kept its unbeaten streak Monday afternoon when it beat one of its closest rivals, Blake, 12-0, keeping them scoreless through five dominating innings.

Sherwood is now 15-0 overall, while Blake drops to 14-4.


Sherwood spring sports riding county high

What’s in the water over at Sherwood High School?

Are they feeding the student-athletes some sort of high octane fuel?

Obviously I’m joking about the fuel but there’s something going on at Sherwood that has sparked a string of success on the Sandy Spring public school’s athletic fields.


Barbour blasts two, Ks 10 in 16-6 NW win over RM

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NW v. RM 1Northwest pitcher Bridgette Barbour smiles as she rounds second base past Richard Montgomery's Tatiana Davidson after clubbing one of her two home runs Friday in Germantown. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER

GERMANTOWN – Bridgette Barbour's nickname on the Northwest varsity softball team may be BB but the senior pitcher might as well be called Bomber.

The right-hander crushed two home runs over the left-center field fence Friday at Cedar Creek Park to lead the host Jaguars (11-1 overall) to a 16-6 Senior Night victory over visiting Richard Montgomery.


Sherwood girls shutout Blair - stay undefeated

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20160416 SHerwood vs Blair SBall 3The Sherwood Warriors shut out the Blair Blazers 15-0. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE.

The keys to victory are simple for the Sherwood varsity softball team.

One game at a time, one day at a time. There’s no other opponent besides the next one. 

That’s the mindset that has motivated the Warriors to an undefeated season so far.

Saturday’s game against Blair was no different. Sherwood jumped ahead to an 11-0 lead in the first inning before shutting the Blazers out, 15-0. 


Sherwood Warriors claim 4th Title

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sherwood fixedCOLLEGE 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.”


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