Manchester Valley's softball team became the spoiler Thursday.
The Mavericks, who won a county championship last spring, defeated host Winters Mill 6-5 and prevented the Falcons from sharing this year's title.
The victory allowed South Carroll to claim the county championship outright after the Cavaliers (9-3 county) beat Francis Scott Key on Wednesday night. Winters Mill (12-5, 8-4) has never won a softball county championship.
"It would have meant a lot to us," Winters Mill coach Felicia Knill said. "But it won't make or break our season. We'll be fine.
"We have been through a lot," she added. "It's a young program that hasn't been that competitive for the past few years. We have gone from two wins last year to more than 10 this year."
Manchester Valley (12-5, 8-4) had to rally to beat Winters Mill as the Mavericks trailed by three runs after four innings. The Mavericks pushed across a run in the fifth, two in the sixth, and the winning run in the top of the seventh to prevail.
In the seventh, Manchester Valley's Rachel Heron reached on a one-out infield hit, advanced to third on Corinne Corsaro's double to left field and scored on Meghan Cappadora's sacrifice fly to center.
Corsaro, a junior outfielder, went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored while teammate Kassidy Johnson, a freshman third baseman, scored twice and had two hits, including a double.
"They beat us about a week ago," said Manchester Valley coach Mike Hernandez, whose team lost to Winters Mill 12-5 on April 29. "So the revenge factor comes into play. They are a great team. They have a bunch of hitters. They are a very well-rounded team. They are just a tough team to beat."
Winters Mill threatened to score in its half of the seventh.
Leadoff batter Taylor Glover beat out a grounder to the shortstop for an infield hit and stole second base. The next batter, Megan Alisauckas, grounded out to shortstop, but Glover was thrown trying to advance to third on the play.
Still, the Falcons pushed the Mavericks with two outs. After Lauren Wiley reached on an infield hit and Sam Petela singled to center field, Hernandez replaced starting pitcher Stephanie Barksdale with Heron.
Heron picked up the save and dealt with a little drama.
WM's Megan Harman sent a fly ball to deep left-center, but MV's Emily Christman caught the ball only a few feet in front of the fence to seal it.
"The regular season is over now," said Barksdale, who struck out four four and earned the win. "I feel it was a pretty big win. It will bring our confidence up for the playoffs."
Winters Mill jumped on Barksdale for three runs in the first and Petela highlighted the inning with a two-run single, which scored Glover and Lauren Wiley. The Falcons added two runs in the fourth to go ahead 5-2, but couldn't hold the lead late.
"We are a big-energy team," Knill said. "We like to [jump] out on top of teams. We were able to make that last little push, but we couldn't get a run across."
Man Valley — 6 8 2
Winters Mill — 5 8 0
MV-Stephanie Barksdale, Rachel Heron (7) and Brooke Davis; WM-Lillie Carr, Zoey Deniker (7) and Megan Alisauckas. 2B: MV-Kassidy Johnson, Corinne Corsaro. WP: Barksdale. LP: Deniker.