Winning Streak Ends But Season Continues

by Jackie Vilaseca ‘19

Even the most amazing of feats must come to an end. After a mind-boggling 105 straight victories without a loss while also winning five consecutive 4A state titles, Sherwood’s varsity softball team lost 9-5 to Northwest on March 25. The team rebounded three days later with 19-1 blowout against Churchill. Perhaps the start of a new streak?

Coach Ashley Barber-Strunk acknowledged that the loss to Northwest initially was heartbreaking, but she said that it is important for the players to recognize that the result of one game doesn’t define an entire season. “At the time [of the loss], I don’t think there was anything to say to improve anyone’s mood, but realizing that the record that was created by this program is nothing short of amazing,” said Barber-Strunk.

“It was just disapointing because we beat ourselves and the other team didn’t earn it,” commented Senior Pitcher Amanda Berkley about their loss, “[but] I think we will become stronger as a whole team and plan to work even harder on our defense.”

In the season opener on March 21, the Warriors shut out Quince Orchard 10-0. Two of the team’s 9 hits were homeruns by senior catcher Brittany Mathis and Berkley. The team picked up a second shutout with 12-0 victory away at Springbrook on March 24, in a game in which the Warriors defensively gave up only one hit.

“Every team always needs work. No matter what the talent looks like,” said Barber-Strunk. “There are so many challenges, but the expectation is always the same: for each girl to prepare and give 100 percent.”

The Warriors will spend at least the early part of the season integrating seven freshmen who help replace the eight graduated seniors from last year’s championship team. Both Mathis and Berkley have been on varsity for all four years of high school, so they will be able to rely on personal experience in mentoring the younger players in their first year on varsity softball.

Mathis said that a key to the team’s amazing success over the past few years is the fact that the team clicks well on and off the field. “We all play a part in the team and not one person is more important than the other,” she said

After playing Northwood yesterday, the schedule for the Warriors gets incredibly busy, as the team plays four games over the next week before Spring Break. The toughest game of the stretch looks to be at home against Blair on April 5 at 3:45. “That is our game to win. We just need to hit and have a strong defense,” said Berkley on the upcoming rival game.