Softball Defeats Linganore To Claim State Title

Junior Kiera Schultz prepares to cross home plate to clinch another state title for the softball team.

by Justin Lakso ’25

The Sherwood Warriors’ 2024 softball season was surely one to remember, even for one of the most storied sports programs in the state of Maryland. The girls dominated during the regular season with a 16-1 record going into the playoffs. Among the wins were six shutout games and 12 double-digit scores, accompanied by a solid pitching staff and an unstoppable starting lineup. To end this great season, varsity softball collected their eighth state title in school history in a thrilling victory against Linganore.

The Warriors trailed 4-2 going into the sixth inning, but junior Jenna Scott hit a fly ball to right center field for a 2 RBI double that allowed juniors Kiera Schultz and Emily Sefcik to score, tying the game.
The game went into extra innings, and Linganore immediately threatened to end the game with a run scored in the top of the eighth. Sherwood responded in the bottom of the inning by getting runners in scoring position as sophomore Reagan Corb stepped up to the plate. Corb hit a deep fly ball which forced the fielders back to the outfield wall. By the time Linganore had picked up the ball, it was already too late. Schultz scored the winning run to bring Sherwood softball its first state title at the 3A designation.

“We made a few mental errors here and there, but ultimately we came through and finished what we came here to do,” said Coach Ashley Barber-Strunk in her post-game comments. In her eleven years as head coach, Barber-Strunk has guided the team to six state championships.

The playoff run was nearly as impressive as the title game. Sherwood started off strong with a 10-1 victory against Atholton, then clutched a close victory against Reservoir, barely beating the Gators by a final score of 4-3. In the quarterfinals, there was no competition from Wootton as Sherwood cruised in a 17-0 shutout. This high-scoring continued into the semifinals, where Chesapeake fell to Sherwood by a score of 7-2.

“We have a great group of girls, and I’m confident that we’ll win no matter who comes to the program,” said Neha Sufi, who was the lone senior on the team this season.