Glen Burnie rallies to state semifinal berth

Rosemarie Weidenhoft sealed Glen Burnie’s fate on an 0-2 pitch in the bottom of the fourth.

It felt like anything else – home run balls rarely, she said, feel earthquaking when they meet your bat – but when Weidenhoft’s shot sailed over the fence, she put the Gophers on a trajectory that ended in a berth to the state semifinal.


After her solo blast, Glen Burnie rallied hard in the sixth inning to mount a 7-2 victory over visiting Leonardtown in the Class 4A East Region final.

“So far, it’s been our thing. It’s not always been the easy way, but we almost come back – or at least try,” Weidenhoft said. “It’d be nice to get out in the beginning and hold it, but I feel like GB always goes out with a bang and it’s gonna happen this time.”


Friday’s crown is the first Gophers region title since 2013, second in the 21st century and sixth overall. They advance to meet West champion Walt Whitman on Tuesday at Bachman Park at 7 p.m.

As the Gophers (18-3) received their championship plaque, coach Dave Sauble turned to the home crowd and pumped his fist in the air.

“[I feel] like I had my first kid – that kind of excitement. Just pride, mostly,” he said. “I told them before the game this is not for me. This is not for the school. This is not for the coaches. This is for all the hard work they did since they were 6-years old. This is for them, and they deserve it. These are the best bunch of kids I’ve ever coached.”

Weidenhoft coupled her homer with an RBI single and went 2 for 2. It was the sophomore’s go-ahead run in the fourth, always-timely pep talks from senior catcher Brooke McCormick and the all-important “tarp talk” the team held on the rolled up tarp by the dugout before the game that ace Wynter Radcliffe used as fuel.

The sophomore hurler tossed nine strikeouts and allowed just four hits, none after the fourth.

“I felt good from warming up,” Radcliffe said. “I knew we were going to dominate today. You could just feel the energy from everyone. We just had to put our mind to it, and that’s what we did.”

After a scoreless exchange in the first inning, the Gophers made it a mission to take advantage of every pitch. Katie Gouty walked and Shaianne Turner singled – both after going down by two strikes – giving Gouty the chance to score on a fielding error to first base and then Weidenhoft, who reached on that mistake, to score on Gia Dickey’s tight drive down the third-base line.

Glen Burnie stuffed Leonardtown until the fourth, when the Raiders – hot off a 12-4 win in their own section final – filled the bases and capitalized off a two-run single.


But the Gophers plugged up the leaks, collecting two outs on two pitches and the third on three – a strikeout.

Still, Leonardtown had successfully reset the game, knotted at 2.

Weidenhoft had slipped into a slump in the last few games, but Sauble knew the tides were ready to turn. She’d proved that against the pitching machine in practice yesterday, her coach said.

“I always have the mentality: ‘base hit, base hit, base hit.’ When it happens, it’s an amazing thing,” Weidenhoft said. “It’s blissful.”

When she trotted home to celebrate her home run with her teammates, Weidenhoft had begun the trademark Glen Burnie softball comeback.

And it wasn’t slowing down.


Outfielder Nicole Newcomer prevented a swift Raiders response by running down a would-be double from right field.

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“She played excellent defense,” Sauble said. “That’s what it is – it’s ‘Whose turn is it going to be today?’ That’s the way this team’s been. It’s not throw it on someone’s back and let them take it. It’s ‘My turn today to be the hero, then my turn to be the hero.’”

After turning their second consecutive 1-2-3 top of the inning, the Gophers cracked open their home turf like an egg, runs spilling like yolk on every blade of grass and every piece of infield dirt. McCormick led it off, clubbing a double, as did Gouty, as did Turner.

By then, it was 5-2, but the lineup kept it rolling. Radcliffe pushed Turner to third with a single and, after her pitcher swiped second, Weidenhoft and Chelsea Coleman plated them both with singles.

“We strive for greatness,” Weidenhoft said. “We want to win this. This game was just prove that we can do it and will keep doing it.”

To protect the onslaught, Radcliffe fanned a pair of batters in the top of the seventh. Her teammates loved her to death for it, Weidenhoft said, as they always do.


Turner barely had time to catch the third out in foul territory before her teammates embraced her; they piled together, chanting their season’s mantra: “Make it right, make it right, make it right.”

“There’s nothing stopping this group of kids. We’re going,” Sauble said. “Tuesday, we’re going to walk through that and we’re going to the thing [the state final] on Saturday. We’ll be there, we’ll be there, we’ll be there. I’m ready. We’re ready.”