OLNEY – Sherwood senior softball team captains Julie Swarr and Nicole Stockinger both made varsity their freshman year and knew they were joining a really good team according to Swarr. However both said they never expected to do what they did Monday – make state history.
But with Sherwood’s 7-0 win over Blair (15-3) Swarr and Stockinger made state history, as the Warriors win gave them a state record 78 straight wins. Moving them past Northern Calvert High School who recorded 77 straight wins from 2010-2014.
Blair was the last team to beat Sherwood in the 2011 regional championship. The winning score of 7-0 was the same score that started the win streak when Sherwood defeated Good Counsel Academy in the 2012 season opener, which was also Swarr and Stockinger’s first game on varsity.
So “it’s so deserving” second year coach Ashley Barber-Strunk said that her two seniors and her team was able to make state history and “that they deserve to be acknowledged on this day” where both played a key role in their team’s win.
With the game tied 0-0 in the bottom of the third Swarr, the Warriors second baseman and leadoff hitter, stepped in for her second at-bat of the game. Swarr had led the game off with single in her first at-bat, but now with the game still tied Swarr said she thought to she should hit a homerun to get her team on the board.
Swarr wasted no time doing just that.
After taking the first pitch for a ball, Swarr connected with a pitch high in the zone and drove it clear over the centerfield fence causing her teammates to erupt in cheer and leave the dugout to congratulate her when she crossed home plate.
Swarr admitted she did not even know she had hit a homerun until she rounded first base.
“I was running as fast as I could to first and then when I heard everyone cheering I just kind of knew,” Swarr said.
Three innings later Stockinger, who had already walked twice, stole a base and scored, delivered the final blow to Blair – a one out double over the centerfielder’s head to score the seventh Sherwood run.
Aside from state history, Monday’s win solidified that Swarr and Stockinger woul remain undefeated during their regular season careers as Sherwood Warriors.
“Yeah it’s incredible,” Stockinger said. “We’ve had great coaches. Coach Backstrom and Flanagan our first two year and now Coach Barber and Kimmie, just keeping us in place and putting out the best nine – and keep winning.”
“It’s actually really crazy to think about it,” Swarr said. “I haven’t lost a game yet in my high school career and I want to keep that going through states.”
The whole Sherwood team wants to keep Swarr and Stockinger undefeated in Warrior colors too according to junior pitcher Jamie Schmier
Schmier, who pitched a complete game Monday, dominating the Blazers to the tune of five strikeouts and two hits surrendered, said she almost cried when Swarr and Stockinger took the field and is set on sending both of her teammates off to college with undefeated records.
“I mean (Swarr and Stockinger) they started it and we’re going to continue it,” Schmier said.
Schmier is just one the many talented juniors that Sherwood’s roster boasts. With only two seniors on the team the Warriors have relied heavily on their juniors for production game after game, which is why Barber Strunk said she credits everyone on the team for setting the state record.
“It’s amazing but I credit every single one of these girls because they have put in the hours, they have put in the hard work on and off the field,” Barber-Strunk said. “I mean it’s all of them and I couldn’t be more proud of them. They deserve it.”