Sherwood High School senior Megan McDonough wasn't going for anything spectacular in Saturday's Class 4A state championship game. When the first three batters in an inning get on base, she said, you have to do something to take advantage of the situation.
The Warriors four-year varsity first baseman did just that.
Batting in the cleanup position, McDonough's two-run triple capped a three-run first inning that set the tone for Sherwood's 5-0 victory against Anne Arundel County's Glen Burnie in the game held at the University of Maryland, College Park.
“When you get two on in the first you have to be ready to try and do as much as you can. You don't have to do anything spectacular, you just have to get that run in,” McDonough said. “I like the inside pitch, it's an awesome pitch to drive. But any pitch in the strike zone, you just have to hit it.”
The victory capped Sherwood's (21-0) second consecutive undefeated season and solidified the Warriors' place in history as the first Montgomery County team to win back-to-back state crowns.
Glen Burnie, which turned around a 2-5 start to finish 16-7, was making its first state final appearance since winning its third championship in 1998.
“It feels remarkable. I can't even believe we did it, two years in a row to go undefeated, you can't take this feeling away,” McDonough said. “I think [since we had been here before] we felt more confident that we could do it again but also not cocky. We just had a confidence that we could come back and win.”
Sherwood tallied nine hits Saturday and strung them together nicely. Warriors junior right-handed pitcher Meggie Dejter limited the Gophers to four hits and struck out 10.
McDonough went 2 for 3 with a double and a triple.
“[Dejter] is definitely a good pitcher, she mixes up her speeds in there and moves the ball around real well,” Glen Burnie coach Doug Schreiber said. “It's hard to decide whether the five beat us or the zero.”
Unlike last year's final, which came down to one sixth-inning run, Sherwood's first-inning lead helped erase any early-game nerves Saturday.
After Dejter turned away Glen Burnie's first three batters, Warriors senior leadoff Amelia Naik and sophomore Julie Swarr drew walks to start the bottom of the inning.
Speedy Naik scored on sophomore Nicole Stockinger's grounder into left field. Sherwood took a 3-0 lead when Swarr and Stockinger scored on McDonough's triple.
After three innings of scoreless ball Sherwood added a run in the bottom of the fifth when Stockinger, who hit a line drive up the third base line, scored on McDonough's double to the fence in right field.
Sherwood added its final run in the bottom of the sixth when junior Addie Armbruster reached first on an error and then scored on a bad throw to third meant to catch her off the bag.
Sherwood coach Pat Flanagan said she was glad to see McDonough end her tenure on a high note after struggling offensively late in the season. McDonough, a Rider University (N.J.) recruit, drove in three of Sherwood's five runs Saturday.
“It says a lot for Megan, she struggled the last part of the season. But she is the kind of kid who is so mentally tough, she is physically tough. She got in the batting cages, after practice she'll be like somebody do soft toss. She knew what she needed to change,” Flanagan said. “I always told the girls, getting to the top is tough. But staying there is tougher. But these girls never got lackadaisical. The goal now is just to keep chipping away, keep winning.”
Sherwood 5, Glen Burnie 0
Glen Burnie (16-7) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sherwood (21-0) 3 0 0 0 1 1 0