‘Killer’ Loss a Major Disappointment for Girls

Graduated senior Amy Laughner and juniors Kristen Holonich and Juliana McClurkin line up to shake hands after a 13-1 victory over Paint Branch. Photo by Brett Melnick ‘12

Graduated senior Amy Laughner and juniors Kristen Holonich and Juliana McClurkin line up to shake hands after a 13-1 victory over Paint Branch. Photo by Brett Melnick ‘12

On May 20, the Sherwood Softball Warriors lined up for the Montgomery County 4A West Regional Finals. The girls had a stellar season behind them and lots of talent, especially coming from five underclassmen. They were poised to contend for a State
Championship. But not today. The Warriors made their earliest exit in the last five years.

According to graduated senior Amy Laughner, “No one in playoffs is an underdog and no one is a powerhouse, anybody can beat anybody,” said the centerfielder and leader of the team. Her statement was proved when Blair pulled off an upset of a favored Sherwood team that went 15-1 during the regular season.

The score went back and forth many times. In the first inning, Blair’s Emily Halisip drove a double to left center, allowing Blake Morgan-Gamer to put the first run on the board, which Sherwood answered with a run in the third inning. Blair tried to pull ahead in the fourth inning, but Sherwood’s Sara Sabry leveled it with a homerun over the center fence. In the fourth inning, both teams added two more runs. After that, however, the Warrior defense fell apart. Blair exploded with four runs in the sixth inning, and while Sherwood scored twice more, the Warriors fell into a hole they could not climb out of, losing the game by a final score of 8-6.

For freshman Meggie Dejter, the bad omens started at the beginning of the game. “[I think] we were really playing on our heels and we didn’t get on top early, which put us behind,” she said. Although Sherwood started strong, errors early on affected their play as they finished the final innings. “We really just weren’t playing up to our regular standards,” commented Dejter.

After the game, emotions for Laughner and Dejter were running high. For senior captain Laughner, it was her job to be strong and to comfort the girls. “It was hard for me because it was my last high school game, and I had to be tough because everyone else was upset. I had to be the captain that I needed to be and try to make everyone feel better,” said Laughner.

Dejter was affected as well, but on a more personal level. “I personally feel I didn’t throw a very good game and I felt that I had let the team down,” said Dejter.

But it is not all bad news. The girls had a remarkable season, with 15 wins and only one loss, coming to Damascus on April 14. As tough as losses are, changes made to the lineup because of that loss led to the Warriors coming out stronger than they were before and allowed them to finish off the rest of their season with wins.

A large part of the girls’ success this season was due to the talented underclassmen—a combination of five freshman and four sophomores, including star pitchers sophomore Kailyn Cohen and Dejter. “Everyone was expecting us to be not as good because we are so young, but we had a lot of talent in the underclassmen, which really helped us,” said Dejter.

The next step: preparation. According to Laughner, all of the girls on varsity play summer softball and participate in a winter clinic in preparation for the season, so they will train to come out harder and stronger. “All the returnees need to focus as much as they can and work harder next year to master their defense and get to score early in the game,” advised Laughner.

The future looks bright for Sherwood softball, as the JV team boasted an undefeated record. The varsity squad will continue to stay one of the county’s youngest, as up and coming juniors Megan Brady, Rachel Deal, and Erica Everett will join rising sophomores Lisa Intoccia, Dejter Rae Harrison, Kasey Rosen and Addie Armbruster. A core group of four rising seniors will anchor the 2012 campaign.


by Jamie Langbein ‘13