Lady Jags Fall to Severna Park in State Championship Game
Nothing went according to plan for the Northwest Jaguars on Saturday in College Park, from the start time of the championship game against Severna Park to the outcome of the game, which the Lady Jags lost 13-0 in four-and-half innings.
The 18-2 Lady Jags were set to defend their 4A West state title against the 25-1 Falcons of Severna Park in a game scheduled for 3:30 pm at the University of Maryland Softball Stadium. However, Mother Nature had other plans, as a thunder and lightning storm forced a more than three-hour delay in the start of the game.
The combination of the delay and the outstanding pitching of Severna Park’s senior Marissa Heuer, who allowed just two hits and struck out five to earn the victory.
“The delay killed us. Delays like this have helped us in the past, but today it killed us,” said Northwest Head Coach Mike Horton after the game. “Severna Park is a very good softball team. That pitcher has allowed just 16 runs all year. She is very good. We scattered a couple of hits and had runners in scoring position at least twice, but we couldn’t get it done. She beat us; it is as simple as that.”
“Back in October our goal was to get here. We got here, but just like any sport if you don’t come to play and you play a very good team, you will get beat. They are a very good Severna Park team they lost one game all year. They are no joke.
For a while, it felt as if the game was going to be a nail biter with both teams getting runners on base in the first two innings, but good defense ending scoring threats.
The Jags began the game with a single by senior Chloe Hickman. She would be out at second after the next batter, Karlie Stanford, hit into a Fielder’s Choice. Stanford advanced to second after sophomore Jalyn Durand worked a walk, but the inning would end as Heuer got the first of her five strikeouts.
In the bottom of the first, the Jags defense would limit the Falcons to just three batters. Leadoff hitter Campbell Kline work a walk. The next batter would lay down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner to second. However, the inning would end when Heuer hit a fly ball to second Chloe Hickman at second base. Hickman would quickly pitch the ball to shortstop Stanford to get the Severna Park runner who had left the base at second, for an inning-ending double play.
The second inning seemed much like the first, as the Jags sent four batters to the plate, resulting in a walk, two strikeouts and fly ball which was tracked down and caught by the centerfielder. The Falcons would start the bottom of the second with a base hit to right field by senior Kylie Dingess. However, the next three batters would be put out on two fly balls and a groundball to second. The game was remained scoreless after two innings.
Northwest threatened in the top of the third when Karlie Stanford knocked a double to deep centerfield. However, she would not advance, and it would be the last Jaguar hit of the game. The Jags would make contact, but Falcon defenders would be there to make plays and end scoring threats.
Severna Park would break open the game in the bottom of the third as they batted around and forced the Jags to make three errors resulting in five runs. The inning started with junior Madison Gerard, who smacked a double in the right-center that which rolled all the way to the wall. Gerard would have two hits in the inning as the Falcons turned over the lineup.
Gerard’s double would be followed by a single by freshman Rachel Holly, and another hit to center by Kline. The ball was misplayed in the outfield resulting in two errors on the play and two runs for the Falcons. Senior Jesse Smith would knock a hit to right field scoring Cline. The Falcons would score two more in the inning until the inning ended with Northwest pitcher Amber Yuille striking out two batters.