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Warriors Softball 2008
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Regional 4A West Semifinals Picture Page
SOFTBALL: SHERWOOD SQUEEZES OUT 2-1 WIN OVER WOOTTON
By Robert Klemko
Three weeks after losing an undefeated season and a division title in extra
innings on their home turf, Sherwood's Warriors returned the favor when it
counted, edging Wootton 2-1 in the 4A West regional semifinal at Sherwood.
Junior shortstop Taylor Stockinger notched the game-winning RBI with a two-run
double ripped to left-center field in the bottom of the fifth inning.
"Our bats have been a lot better than what they were during the regular
season so it's helped us in the playoffs," Stockinger said.
"Everybody in the lineup has stepped up their game and their hitting
because we're trying to go as far as we can."
Stockinger's second hit of the day came just an inning after Wootton loaded
the bases but produced just one run. All told, the Patriots left six runners
in scoring position and posted eleven hits in a losing effort.
"I felt we hit right with them but the one thing is that we left way to
many people on base," said Wootton Coach Alton Lightsey. "It's
tough, I would challenge any team to try to win here twice. We had
opportunities to do it. We gave ourselves chances but they got the big
Sherwood junior pitcher Erin McMakin notched five strikouts in a complete
game. McMakin worked her way out of a one-out bases-loaded jam in the fifth
inning, forcing a pair of groundouts, to allow just one run to score. In the
fourth, McMakin struck out the final batter of the inning with runners on
second and third to hold Wootton off the scoreboard.
But McMakin's closest call came in the top of the third, when Wootton's Sarah
Biron, heading home on a Rachel Laufer line drive, was thrown out by sophomore
shortstop Kat Correa from the cutoff position. Warrior catcher Shayna Popkin
applied the tag to the delight of the Sherwood faithful, who haven't witnessed
a Correa error all season.
"She's tough. If theres anybody staying after practice it's her sayin
'Coach can you stay and hit me,'" Sherwood coach Pat Flanagan said.
"I could stay out here until it was dark and she'll say, 'Could you hit
it harder? Could you hit it to my glove side? Could you hit it to the other
side?' She works all the time on getting better."
It was Correa who engineered the final out, scooping up a Rinn dribbler for a
berth in the 4A West championship game.
"I just love getting down and dirty," Correa said. "On the play
at home she threw it to me and I just beamed it... this win means everything
Wootton's Lightsey said he was proud of the resilience of his players, who won
13 of their final 15 games on their way to a 15-5 mark.
"We battled with every single team and we were in every game that we
played except for the one against Gaithersburg at the beginning of the year
and I felt like we were just as good as this team," Lightsey said.
"The season as a whole was definitely a success with a relatively young
team. I was really impressed and I'm sad that its over."
Sherwood has picked up where last year's team left off, rebounding from the
loss of first-team All-Met catcher Katie Obal and second teamer Dana Ward with
a 15-2 season mark.
"I moved Kathy Holonich -- who has been one of the best outfielders in
the county for a while -- to first base with no problem and she's done an
excellent job," Flanagan said. "Nobody on this team worried about
their individual stats and that is what makes them a good team. Everybody
pulls for each other."
Sherwood will meet top-seeded Gaithersburg in the regional title game.
Junior pitcher Erin McMakin threw five strikeouts in Sherwood's 2-1
win over Wootton.
Junior Taylor Stockinger rounds second base as her two-run double puts
the Warriors ahead.