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Northwest softball defeats Sherwood once more to win first state title

JGS 9066The Northwest softball team wins their first state championship.   PHOTO BY JACQUI SOUTH COLLEGE PARK – For the first time in six years, the Sherwood varsity softball team didn’t end the season by hoisting the 4A state championship trophy.

It appeared as though the Warriors had found their kryptonite, the same kryptonite in the black-and-white uniforms that snapped Sherwood’s infamous winning streak back in March.

When Northwest won in the semifinals, Jaguars head coach Mike Horton mentioned that if his team continued to play “Northwest softball,” they’d be able to take Sherwood down again.

Northwest doubled up the Warriors by a score of 8-4 Saturday at the University of Maryland Softball Stadium to go down in history as the first Jaguars team to win a softball state championship.

“When you hit the ball hard, it tends to throw teams off their game. We came out and we went after it, and that’s a big thing with teams like that,” he said. “I geared these girls to play Sherwood early in the season. Obviously you want to beat every team, but Sherwood was the pinnacle.”

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MoCo athletes win state titles in track and field at championship meets

BALTIMORE – Montgomery County Public Schools athletes earned multiple titles in track and field at the State Championship Meets at Morgan State University Friday.

Walter Johnson junior Abbey Green (10:46 minutes) beat her long-time distance rival Annapolis High School senior Maria Coffin (10:56 minutes) to become state champion.

It was her second track and field state title, her first for the outdoor season. Green said she and Coffin became friends during the last few years as they competed in track and field and in cross country.
Poolesville sophomore Nandini Satsangi came in first place in the 3A 3200m race (11:07). Satsangi held the second-place spot for most of the race, and then she led the final two laps. Her legs suddenly gave out a couple of feet from the finish line and she fell, but she won the race by finishing a few seconds ahead of Northern-Calvert junior Abby Sweeney (11:12).

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Triumphant over Eleanor Roosevelt, Northwest softball heads to states

xNW vs. ERoosevelt Softball 1bNorthwest pitcher Amber Yuille prepares to send one across the plate.             PHOTO BY MARK POETKER GLEN BURNIE – It was the tale of two dugouts.

Someone in the Northwest dugout began to hammer out a beat. Soon, the entire varsity softball team began to sing in unison as a light drizzle fell over Bachman Park on Tuesday.

The players in the Eleanor Roosevelt dugout, on the other hand, were completely silent.

After all, it was the bottom of the fourth, and the Raiders were on the verge of getting shut out in the state semifinals.

The Jaguars had methodically picked the Raiders apart, blowing out the team from Prince George’s County by a score of 16-0.

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Delayed by rain, Northwest comes back to defeat Blair in playoffs 3-2

xNorthwest vs. Blair baseball 3bNorthwest’s Griffin Bubb slides into third base as Blair’s Sam Strongin dives for the ball.    PHOTO BY CAROLYN KOMATSOULISIn the previously suspended MPSSAA Regional Finals Playoff game, some of the most exciting baseball of the year was had for an all too brief time on day two, as the Northwest Jaguars (17-4) came back to win 3-2 against the Blair Blazers (15-7) at Northwest High School on Saturday evening.

The brief resumption of the game, with only a few batters and less than twenty minutes of actual play, changed the trajectory of two programs for this season. For the Blazers, their season ends in a tough way. For the Jaguars, they move onto the state semifinals against the Eleanor Roosevelt Raiders at Shirley Povich Field on Tuesday afternoon. The winner plays in the state championship.

Northwest head coach Todd Varesco talked about the game interruption due to rain, saying, “Yesterday, we stopped when we felt we had momentum and to look back on it before we left here today we said ‘it wasn’t a bad thing the day got stopped. We got to reboot and come back tomorrow and we’re just going to play our game.’ And I’ll tell you all the guys were focused. Not one thought we were going to lose, and I got to tip my cap to them because coaching did nothing today. It was all those guys. Just rose to the occasion. Rose above the flood.”

Blair head coach Eric Zolkiewicz said of the delay on account of rain, “I have nothing to comment. We can’t change the weather. Both teams had to deal with the same circumstances. You just had to come out and play.”

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Sherwood Warriors eke out 2-1 victory for regional varsity softball championship.

xSherwood vs Dulaney Softball bSherwood senior Amanda Berkley unloads a pitch in the 2-1 win over Delaney.                 PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  Coming off a highly contested 5-3 win against the number two seed Howard Lions (19-6), local girls varsity softball powerhouse Sherwood Warriors (17-1) extended their winning streak to 15 games against fellow number one seed, the Dulaney Lions (19-3) of Baltimore County, securing the regional championship with a final score of 2-1.

The contest was a pitcher’s duel, with Sherwood senior Amanda Berkley meeting her match against Dulaney junior Akirra Pullen. Both pitchers toyed with the other team’s offense, and base runners were hard to come by.

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Local track and field athletes qualify for state championships at 4A West Regionals

x4A West Region Track Meet 1bRohann Asfaw of Richard Montgomery High School leads the pack in the boys 1600m run. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  GAITHERSBURG –Multiple athletes earned personal best times at the 4A West Regional Track Meet held at Quince Orchard High School Wednesday and Thursday.

Northwest junior Editta Pessima earned a personal record of 44.06 seconds when she won the girls 300 meter hurdles Thursday. Walter Johnson senior Courtney Christian took second place (45.22 seconds).

Christian led the race for nearly 200 meters when Pessima caught up to her and passed her to win the event.

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Churchill boys blow past Quince Orchard in LAX regionals

xChurchill vs QO LAX 1b 201700517Churchill's Merrick Willeford wins another faceoff against Quince Orchard.                        PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  GAITHERSBURG—The MPSSAA Boys Lacrosse Regional Finals at Gaithersburg High School on Wednesday evening matched County powerhouses with identical 16-1 records, the Churchill Bulldogs and the Quince Orchard Cougars, with the Bulldogs scoring a convincing 16-4 victory.

“Churchill was a very good team. They played very hard. It doesn’t diminish that our guys set a school record for wins in a season. We’ve had a great group of guys…But hats off to Jeff, his coaching staff and players who came out and played very well”, said Cougars head coach David Gonzalez.

Bulldogs head coach Jeff Fritz said, “…We thought it was going to be a close-knit game but our kids came out, played very well, executed the game plan.”

Bulldogs senior goalie Alex Crombie explained the difference between tonight’s win and last Monday’s win of the Whitman Vikings, saying, “Offensively, the start tonight was the antithesis of what Monday was. We clicked immediately…that’s not to say we didn’t come out with a lot of energy. We did…”

Bulldogs senior attacker Spencer Knife (2 goals) said of the keys to tonight’s game, “Doing the small things right. The whole year we’ve had issues doing the little things right. We kind of have the big picture…scooping through ground balls. Getting to the right spots on clears. The little X’s and O’s stuff. So, focus on the small things. The key components fell into place.”

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Blazers put down Rockets 9-5

SILVER SPRING-Some big questions were asked about this softball game, a rematch from early on in the season.

One of the biggest was: could the Richard Montgomery Rockets make up for their 10-2 blowout defeat against the Blair Blazers back in March?

The answer ended up being no, with a 9-5 loss, but the result showed more of a fight from the Rockets, and put pressure on the Blazers to keep afloat.

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Bulldogs crush Vikings in LAX playoffs 10-3

xChurchill Bulldogs vs. Whitman Vikings LAX 2bChurchill’s Ryan Leonard (5) goes for the goal as Whitman defenders move to intercept.    PHOTO BY MARK POETKER

After a close three quarters, the Churchill Bulldogs boys varsity lacrosse team (15-1) lambasted the Whitman Vikings (11-4), 10-3 in the MPPSSA regional semifinals at Churchill Stadium on Monday evening.

Bulldogs junior attacker Ryan Leonard (3 goals) said of the win, “We always have a chip on our shoulder playing against Whitman. They’re our rivals. So, we knew we wanted to come in and win.”

Bulldogs senior goalie Alex Crombie credited the win on the Bulldogs’ team energy, saying, “We all came out just as we would in a playoff game. Against Wootton we came out with a lot of energy. Tonight was no different. It mostly started on the defensive end. We brought a lot of energy. Although our offense had a slow start. I thought the energy resonated. They picked up as the game went on. They feed off it. A lot of our success came off the energy we had.”

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B-CC Barons Smash Northwood Gladiators, 20-1

xBCC vs. Northwood baseball 1bB-CC Barons’ Spencer Sampson hits a three-run home run.   PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  BETHESDA—The Bethesda Chevy Chase Barons boys varsity baseball team (14-7) wiped out the Northwood Gladiators (4-16) in the first round of the MPPSSA playoffs at Bethesda-Chevy Chase field on Monday afternoon.

“A win is a win,” said Barons head coach John Schmidt. “You win and you advance. And that’s what we wanted to do. We wanted to convincingly try to get everything going — every part of our game — hitting, fielding and pitching and, I think, today we did…I think we can hang with a lot of people when we’re going in the right direction…You don’t take anybody lightly…Play for the next day. Don’t think about tomorrow, think about today and today, we took care of business.”

Barons senior catcher Spencer Sampson, who supplied a three-run home run, said, “I think it was a good win for us. It showed our bats are alive and we’ve come out with a playoff mentality. Ready to get it tomorrow.”

Barons junior starting pitcher John Narvaiz explained of this year’s team, “I think in the beginning of the season we had a little bit of overconfidence. We lost a few close games early this season…facing that adversity, came together and we’re ready. We’re battle-tested and we’re ready to leave this section as champions.”

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