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Despite 3-0 win over Eleanor Roosevelt in the 4A state semifinals, sending Warriors to first-ever finals, Sherwood has work to do (VIDEOS HERE)

Published: 05/22/2008

By Ryan Mink

This was the same point where Sherwood faltered last year, in the 4A softball Maryland state semifinals.

And while the Warriors weren’t exactly pleased with their performance once again, they’ll certainly take it this time around.

After putting up three runs in the first inning, Sherwood was shut out the rest of the game but still managed to beat Eleanor Roosevelt, 3-0, at Bachman Park in Glen Burnie Wednesday.

Sherwood’s win sets up a rematch of last year’s state semifinals, where the Warriors lost to Chesapeake, 3-2, Saturday at the University of Maryland at 6:30 p.m. It will be the first state final in Sherwood program history and comes a year after Sherwood graduated two of the best players the school has ever seen, making the feat all the more impressive.

“Last year we came so close and just fell behind by one run,” Sherwood senior first baseman Kathy Holonich said. “This year actually winning and going as a senior, it’s amazing. … A win’s a win at this point.”

Holonich drove in Sherwood’s first run in the first inning, brining home Kelly Morrow, who walked to lead off the inning. Jessie Karp drove in Shayna Popkin with an RBI fielder’s choice two batters later and her sister, Jamie Karp, drove in Sherwood’s third run with an RBI single up the middle, scoring pinch-runner Emily Witt.

“When we jumped out 3-0 on them in the first inning I thought maybe we could make short work of them,” Sherwood Coach Pat Flanagan said.

But as Flanagan and everyone else watching the game gradually found out, that wasn’t going to be the case. Sherwood (18-2) threatened throughout the game but stranded 11 runners on base, putting more pressure on the shoulders of junior pitcher Erin McMakin.

“I was a little nervous, but that was the best I could do,” McMakin said. “I just choose not to think about it. I don’t want to get myself worked up and have a little breakdown or anything. … It’s all I could have hoped for.”

McMakin held Eleanor Roosevelt (17-3) to just two hits, both singles to lead off the third and sixth innings respectively, and struck out 11 in the process. McMakin was also 1-for-2 at the plate with a walk.

“She holds up so well,” Flanagan said. “ I mean, my goodness. We left the door open every inning and they had opportunities every inning. Erin really stepped up for us and she deserves a lot credit.”

Following the win, Flanagan gathered the players in the dugout and rattled off a few things they didn’t do so well. Despite the win, it wasn’t a joyous time. She elicited a brief outpouring of screams with her proclamation that the girls were still “going to the show” but her message was clear.

In order to beat Chesapeake, Sherwood is going to have to play better than it did against Eleanor Roosevelt.

“We had opportunities every single inning,” Flanagan said. “We ran ourselves out of a couple of plays and just didn’t hit when we needed to. That could have come back to hurt us. Fortunately it didn’t. The next couple days we’re going to have to practice a little harder to try to push runs across any way we can.”

Sherwood will face Chesapeake, the team that knocked it out of last year's semifinals, in Saturday's finals.
Junior Erin McMakin tossed a complete game while allowing just two hits.

Digital Sports Video Links:
Kathy Holonich's RBI Single -
Kathy Holnich's Interview -
Jamie Karp RBI Single -
Erin McMakin Strikeout -
Erin McMakin Interview -
Coach Flanagan Interview -

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