Reservoir played like a team with something to prove on Friday and shook up the county-championship race in the process.
Hosting Mt. Hebron, one of just two county teams that entered the day still unbeaten in league play, the Gators got standout pitching from Emily Wang and some timely offense to earn a come-from-behind 5-4 victory.
After losing games to River Hill and Centennial the previous two days, Reservoir's statement performance now leaves River Hill alone in first place.
"We had the two tough losses back-to-back and we talked before the game today about playing with nothing to lose," Reservoir coach Julie Frisvold said. "We just had to go out and play. That means hitting the dirt, diving, making the plays and recovering quickly. I saw all of that today."
Mt. Hebron had jumped ahead to a 3-0 lead through the first two innings. On the day, Evvie Buehlman (2-4, double, RBI and run scored), Rylee Kinsella (1-3, RBI) and Caroline Smith (1-3, run) led the team's offense.
But in the bottom of the third, Reservoir rallied. Hunter Little got on with a walk and then Carly Clarke (3-4, 3 RBI, 2 runs, double and home run) came up and ripped a hard-hit ball into the gap. By the end of the inning, Reservoir had tied things up at 3-3.
Mt. Hebron retook the lead in the top of the fifth, but then Reservoir squared things again in the bottom half of the inning.
The deciding run then came in the bottom of the sixth. Up against Mt. Hebron pitcher Maddie Bennett, who had a very strong game overall with eight strikeouts, Reservoir got Sophia Sommerkamp on with a leadoff walk. After a strikeout, Holly Daum reached base on an error that put herself and Sommerkamp into scoring position.
After another strikeout, Carly Clarke hit a ball to second that was bobbled and that allowed Sommerkamp to score the go-ahead run.
"Maddie Bennett is a great pitcher and she did a great job on the mound, but our girls focused in and came through when there were runners on base," Frisvold said. "The girls really wanted today and they brought their game. I hope this gives us the momentum to move through the rest of the season."
Anna Bennett (1-3, RBI, run) and Breann Smith (1-2, double, RBI) were other offensive stars for Reservoir. Bennett, who has committed to play collegiately at UMBC, continues to be among the county's hottest hitters.
But just as important as the offense was Wang. She pitched the complete game, struck out nine and allowed just two earned runs while walking one.
"She and Anna Bennett seemed to have a really strong connection today, which is something we have struggled with at times this season," Frisvold said. "She hit her spots and kept their batters off balance. The two of them had a good conversation ahead of time about what they were going to call and how they were going to pitch this game."
Allison Wilcox continues to pound the ball at the plate, going 3-3 with a double to help lead the way past the Eagles. The Gladiators scored three in the top of the first and never trailed the rest of the way, as a 2-RBI double by Claire Swan got things started.
Centennial answered back in the bottom of the second with RBI singles by Jordan Burk and Josefine Jensen that scored Samantha Sterenberg and Carrie Strott (2-3) to cut its deficit to one. The Eagles sent a total of seven batters to the plate in the second inning.
But Glenelg put three more runs on the board in the top of the third to separate itself once again. In the third, Glenleg had four singles — from Toni Pritchard, Wilcox, Gabriella Mistichelli (2 RBI) and Harly Fitterer (RBI) — and a walk by Katie Dustin to help score its runs.
In the sixth, Glenelg got another run on an RBI single by Wilcox that scored Sharon Mielke. Then the Gladiators scored their final run in the top of the seventh.
Centennial did fight until the very end, getting two more back in the seventh to create the final margin. Burk (2-4) led off with a single and advanced on a single by Celina Jensen (2-3). Emily Allen (2-3) had a SAC fly to score Burk and then Sammy Kastner (3-4) followed with a single. On the play, Jensen scored on a defensive error.
Centennial's defensive highlights included four put outs by Burk in center field, along with great middle infield play from Emily Allen and Celina Jensen. Josefine Jensen pitched her fourth complete game of the week and struck out two.
Anna Turvin got the win at pitcher for Glenelg, improving to 7-3 on the season.
123 456 7 R-H-E
G 303 001 1 8-14-1
C 020 000 2 4-12-2
Howard 10, Marriotts Ridge 0
A masterful five innings from pitcher Jamie Bahrijczuk (two hits allowed) and a big offensive day by the entire team that was highlighted by 4 RBI from Brittany Bryson, led the Lions to the shutout victory.