Reservoir coach Julie Frisvold likes to think this year’s Gators softball team has been building toward this season for nearly a decade.
Many of the players started playing together in 10U rec as part of the Savage Boys and Girls program, and while the teams have changed and so have the stakes, the core of this group has stuck together.
On Tuesday at Wilde Lake, the journey led the Reservoir program to its first county championship.
Reservoir (9-0) blasted three home runs on the way to scoring 15 times — more than double the runs any team had scored against Wilde Lake (5-2) all season — and pitcher Kylee Gunkel struck out 10 to lead the way to a 15-1 victory.
“This season, this crew is just so incredibly special, and it definitely adds a little bit to it having worked with them since they were so young,” Frisvold said. “They gel, they have the chemistry and I’ve had a lot of special teams — those teams are all awesome — but obviously this team is just a bit more unique because they really did start together.
“Watching them play, you just get that sense that they might do something like this that had never been done before.”
Reservoir, which won region championships in 2012 and 2018, had never before won a county title. With Tuesday’s win, the team has a two-game lead in the loss column on Glenelg, Howard, Marriotts Ridge and Wilde Lake — and owns the tiebreaker against all four — with two games left in the regular season.
Gunkel, who had a perfect game going into the bottom of the fifth and also launched the first home run of her career in the third inning, relished most in the team achievement afterward.
“To be a part of this team, with the energy that we have every time we step on the field, is just so awesome,” Gunkel said. “I was so disappointed with COVID last year, losing the season, so just being able to come back and see everyone ready to perform has been unbelievable. The biggest thing is we are having fun. ... The wins I think come from that.”
Reservoir wasted no time setting the tone, delivering five hits and four runs in the top of the first. Courtney Johnson (3-for-4, double, home run, five RBIs and three runs) and Kayla Ecker (3-for-4, home run, four RBI and two runs) each delivered run-scoring hits.
Gunkel then came out and struck out three batters in a row in the bottom half of the inning, putting Reservoir quickly back up at the plate to tack on three more runs in the second.
“That start was huge for confidence and it seemed to just build from there,” Ecker said. “We set a bar that first inning and then kept on raising it the whole rest of the game both at the plate and on defense.”
In the top of the third, Gunkel (2-for-3) helped her own cause with a shot over the left field fence for her first career long ball to make it 8-0.
“I was honestly shocked. I haven’t hit a home run since seventh or eighth grade … it’s been so long,” Gunkel said. “I actually choked up on the bat since I was behind in the count, and I just let it go. It was a fun moment.”
Wilde Lake starter Justyce Richard (two strikeouts) did a good job of settling in during the middle innings, even setting the heart of Reservoir’s lineup down in order in the fourth.
But with two outs in the top of the fifth, the Gators strung together six consecutive hits to officially put the game out of reach. Madison Granzow delivered the first two runs of the frame with a two-run single, Maggie Frisvold (2-for-4, two runs and an RBI) followed with an RBI double and then Alyssa Kelly (3-for-4 and three runs) smacked an RBI single. For an exclamation point, Johnson delivered the first home run of her career, and then Ecker followed with a homer of her own to cap the seven-run frame.
“The thing I am constantly yelling is ‘extend the inning.’ I don’t care how many outs there are, until that third out is called, we are going to continue to put pressure on the defense, and I think that mentality is what is so great about this team,” Julie Frisvold said. “No matter the situation, they are just completely focused on staying on the field as long as they can and playing as hard as they can.”
Wilde Lake, which came in having scored at least three runs in every game this spring, never quit despite the large deficit. Nokomis Styers broke up the perfect game with a one-out double to left in the bottom of the fifth, and then with two outs Lauren Jascewsky drove her in with an RBI single.
“To have a sophomore come up there in that spot and to get a hit that big, you could feel the life come into the crowd, into the dugout and into the girls. So that was absolutely huge to get that charge, even if it didn’t change the outcome of the game,” Wilde Lake coach Tee Dronenburg said. “It goes with what we talk about in terms of these Wildecats aren’t going to go down without a fight no matter what the scoreboard might say.”
As Wilde Lake continues its turnaround season, which already includes more than double its previous single-season-best county win total (two) in the last 10 years, Dronenburg added it’s important to learn from the result and move forward.
“Being a softball player requires having a short memory. Today happened, it wasn’t the outcome we wanted, but it’s over and done with and we are moving on,” Dronenburg said.
Reservoir 15, Wilde Lake 1
... 123 45 R-H-E
Re 431 07 15-17-0
WL 000 01 1-2-3
OTHER SOFTBALL SCORES:
Glenelg 7, Mt. Hebron 0
Megan Ortwein twirled a three-hit shutout in the Gladiators’ sixth straight win. The fireballer struck out seven and walked one in her seven-inning triumph. At the plate, Glenelg (7-2) tallied 11 hits, with Sage Huber, Jordyn Woodling and Haley Markel each tallying multiple base knocks. Huber led the lineup with a 4-for-4 day, while Woodling and Markel each drove home two runs. One bright spot for Mt. Hebron (6-3) was Ashley Cheung, who doubled in the third inning for the Vikings’ only extra-base hit.
MH — 000 000 0 — 0 3 3
G — 005 002 x — 7 11 1
W: G — M. Ortwein; L: MH — Em. Behel.
2B: G — S. Tinio, S. Huber; MH — A. Cheung.
SB: G — S. Spiegel, J. Woodling, S. Huber.
Howard 11, Long Reach 0
Morgan Gross (three hits, double, 5 RBI) and Lindsey Smith (two hits, home run, 3 RBI) led the way offensively for the Lions (6-2) in the shutout win over the Lightning (2-7). In the circle, the Howard duo of Sam Hobert (4 strikeouts in 4 innings) and Katie Green (three strikeouts in one inning) combined to allow only two hits.
Hobert and Jordan Howell added doubles to the Lions’ offensive effort, which included multiple runs in all four of the team’s plate appearances. Howard has now won five games in a row.
.. 123 45 R-H-E
LR 000 00 0-2-2
Ho 224 3x 11-10-0
Marriotts Ridge 11, Hammond 4
The heart of the Mustangs’ lineup led Marriotts Ridge (6-2) to the convincing win over the Golden Bears (3-6). No. 2 hitter Ashley Theimer went 2-for-2 with three walks, three RBIs and four runs, while No. 3 hitter Brynne Mellady went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a stolen base. Cleanup hitter Ashleigh Gerber went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs, and No. 5 hitter Bridget Farrell went 4-for-5 with three RBIs. Lauren Tolle earned the win in the circle, striking out three and allowing two runs (one earned) in five innings. Jasmine Smith tossed the last two innings for the save. Abbie Weirich led Hammond at the plate with a home run.
MR — 202 013 3 — 11 16 2
Ha — 100 101 1 — 4 6 4
W: MR — L. Tolle; L: Ha — J. Rodriguez; SV: MR — J. Smith.
2B: MR — B. Farrell; Ha — K. Smith.
HR: MR — A. Gerber; Ha — A. Weirich.
SB: MR — S. Fan 2, B. Farrell, B. Mellady, A. Gerber, A. Pastras.
River Hill 13, Atholton 0
Ella Wood threw a one-hitter shutout on Tuesday, striking out 11 and walking one, to help the Hawks (5-3) shutout the Raiders (0-9).
River Hill was led at the plate by Kathleen Maiorana (3-4, double, 2 runs, 2 RBI), Brooke Gettier (2-3, run, RBI), Sara Emimg (2-2, double, 2 RBI, 2 runs, walk) and Ever Sheplee (2-3, double, 2 runs, 3 RBI). The Hawks broke the game wide open with 10 runs in the fourth inning.
Kyra Holtje (1-2) accounted for the Raiders’ hit in the loss.
.. 123 45 R-H-E
RH 012 (10)0 13-12-2
A 000 00 0-1-5
Centennial 17, Oakland Mills 4
The Eagles (2-7) won their second game of the season on senior day against the Scorpions (0-8). Centennial compiled season highs of 22 hits and 17 runs.
Freshman Nicole Cavey (double, single), junior Allison Keen (2 singles) and junior Gussie Ruckdeschel (2 singles) were among the Eagles to finish with multiple hits. Junior Madison Ceglia was a top player both at pitcher (seven strikeouts) and at the plate (double).
Oakland Mills scored four runs on 12 hits.
Centennial 4, Oakland Mills 3
Trailing for the first time in six games, the Eagles didn’t panic. After Oakland Mills (0-8) scored three runs in the fourth inning to take a 3-1 lead, Centennial (8-1) scored three in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead that would hold through the rest of the game.
The runs allowed ended a five-game — and 33-inning — scoreless streak, but the win was the team’s sixth straight. Zachary Harris, who threw a scoreless seventh in Centennial’s 4-0 win over Reservoir on Monday, tossed 3 1/3 solid innings in relief to earn the win. Carter Watson led the Eagles’ bats with two RBIs, while Chris Betler and Jack Pistner both had two hits at the plate.
Chance Meadows led the Scorpions’ offense with two hits and two RBIs. On the mound, Cameron Canter struck out six in 5 1/3 innings.
OM — 000 300 0 — 3 4 0
C — 100 030 x — 4 8 0
W: C — Z. Harris; L: OM — C. Canter.
Long Reach 7, Howard 4
Trailing by one after five innings, the Lightning scored two runs in both the sixth and seventh to defeat the Lions. Brandon Bartolotta earned the win on the mound, striking out three and allowing only five hits in 6 2/3 innings against the Lightning’s rival. At the plate, Bartolotta had a hit, two RBIs and a run, while Cole Fleischer and Cole Stanford both had two hits and a stolen base for Long Reach (4-4). For Howard (4-3), Ryan Anderson went 2-for-4 with an RBI at the plate, while Matt O’Connor took the tough-luck loss, striking out five and allowing two unearned runs in 3 1/3 innings.
LR — 102 002 2 — 7 8 0
Ho — 200 020 0 — 4 6 1
W: LR — B. Bartolotta; L: Ho — M. O’Connor; SV: LR — C. Fleischer.
2B: LR — J. Tennant, C. Stanford;
SB: LR — C. Stanford, J. Tennant, C. Bosley, C. Fleischer; Ho — B. Fader, N. Dawes.
Hammond 5, Marriotts Ridge 3
Despite being one-hit by Marriotts Ridge pitcher Chase Kamerman, Hammond scored five runs in the first and held on for the 5-3 win. Hammond’s Ryan deLeon had a bases-clearing double in the first, and the Golden Bears’ other two runs came on bases-loaded walks. Kamerman struck out 10 in six innings for the tough-luck loss. Jordan Peguese (two RBIs) and Drew Leader (RBI) each had one hit at the plate for Marriotts Ridge (4-4). The win is the third straight for Hammond (4-5).
MR — 020 100 0 — 3 2 1
Ha — 500 000 x — 5 1 4
Reservoir 12, Wilde Lake 3
Nate Del Tufo went 3-for-4 at the plate and pitched two innings to help lead the Gators to the convincing win. Reservoir (4-4) scored four in the first to put Wilde Lake (1-6) on its heels and pushed four more across the plate in the sixth to seal the victory. Del Tufo and Jack Lloyd both doubled for the Gators, while Ben Davis hit the game’s lone homer. Lloyd earned the win on the mound, tossing five innings and allowing only two runs. Grant Gladden doubled for Wilde Lake.
Re — 410 124 0 — 12 12 5
WL — 001 011 0 — 3 4 3
W: Re — J. Lloyd; L: WL — G. Gladden.
2B: Re — N. Del Tufo, J. Lloyd; WL — G. Gladden.
HR: Re — B. Davis.
Glenelg 10, Mt. Hebron 9 (9 inn.)
Freshman Zach Lafountain was the star in his first varsity game. Lafountain, who was just called up from Glenelg’s JV team, earned the win on the mound and had the walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth against the Vikings (3-6). The youngster allowed one hit and one unearned run in 2 1/3 innings, striking out two, and went 2-for-2 at the plate with a double and an RBI at the plate. He relieved Harrison Hobdy, who allowed three hits in five innings. Braeden Sumpter and Andrew Johnson both homered for Glenelg (6-3), combining for eight RBIs. Johnson went 3-for-3 with two walks and two runs and four RBIs, while Sumpter was 1-for-3 with four RBIs and a walk.
Atholton 8, River Hill 1
The loss snaps the Hawks’ five-game winning streak, in which they outscored their opponents by 35 runs. Branden Brown earned the win on the mound for the Raiders (5-3), while Dustin Eidson and Tony D’Angeli both had three RBIs at the plate. Nick Varda also doubled for Atholton, while Diego Carrion, Tra Evans and Charlie DeCelles (two) each had a stolen base.
Centennial 13, River Hill 7
Eleven of the Eagles’ 13 goals were assisted in their win over the Hawks (0-6). Jake Ritter scored four times, while Sam Bussink and Brendan Hlibok both had two goals apiece for the Eagles. Josh Flick and Andrew Hockersmith both scored a goal and had three assists. Ryan Firebaugh scored a goal and won 14 of 15 faceoffs. The win is the third straight for Centennial (4-2).
Goals: C — Jake Ritter 4, Sam Bussink 2, Brendan Hlibok 2, Andrew Hockersmith, James MacLellan, Ryan Firebaugh, Max Voltner, Josh Flick; RH — Devin Campbell 2, Tyler Sutch 2, Wes Brunett, Will Gochar, Justin Shaw.
Assists: C — Flick 3, Hockersmith 3, Ritter 2, Bussink 2, Hlibok; RH — Campbell, Gochar.
Goals: C — Alex Kauffman 16; RH — Kyle Henry 22, Charlie Kluckhuhn 3.
Halftime: 6-3, C.
Oakland Mills 16, Long Reach 4
The Scorpions (4-3) completed a regular season sweep of the Lightning (1-6) behind a huge offensive game from Tyler May (6 goals, 4 assists).
Goals: OM — Tyler May 6, Blake Nguyen 4, Joe Thompson 4, Matt Hamann 2; LR — Jake Filler, Elijah McNeil, Nick Roby, Nick Simon.
Assists: OM — May 4, Hamann 2, Nguyen, Aiden Turnbull, Jacob Pasqual, Russell Carrington.
Saves: OM — Michael Clancy 7; LR — DJ Belechto 15.
Halftime: 11-1 OM.
Wilde Lake 20, Hammond 2
The Wildecats won their third straight game with the blowout win over the Golden Bears (0-4). Wilde Lake (4-2) has scored 18-plus goals in each of its last three games. Eric Knoerschild led all players with four goals, while Rowley Jackson had a hat trick for Wilde Lake. In total, nine Wildecats scored in the triumph.
Goals: WL — Eric Knoerschild 4, Rowley Jackson 3, Quinn Sutker 2, Henry Hilger 2, Jack Phelps 2, Evan Robinson 2, Zach Hirsch 2, Dominic Facchiano 2, Michael Stralka; Ha — N/A.
Assists: WL — Jackson 3, Hilger 3, Phelps 2, Sutker, Nate Jones; Ha — N/A.
Saves: WL — Lewis Collora, Alex Manney; Ha — Jaden Afedi 21.
Halftime: 11-1, WL.
Marriotts Ridge 16, Atholton 5
Goals: MR — N/A; A — Ryan Hernandez 2, Toby Aquino, Drew Kassman, Spencer Krasnick.
Assists: MR — N/A; A — Drew Kassman, Daniel Cade.
Saves: MR — N/A; A — Walsh 16
Halftime: 12-0, MR.
Centennial 13, River Hill 11
The Eagles got back to .500 with the narrow win over the Hawks. Abby Cudzilo led Centennial (3-3) with six goals, while Louisa Lagera split the pipes four times. For River Hill (0-4), Molly Maloney and Clare Slade each scored four goals, while Maddie Vasilios registered a hat trick.
Goals: C — Abby Cudzilo 6, Louisa Lagera 4, Alaina Kelly, Charlotte Pilcher, Emma Bush; RH — Molly Maloney 4, Clare Slade 4, Maddie Vasilios 3.
Assists: C — Lagera; RH — Ferrer.
Saves: C — Ellen Landrum 6; RH — Thompson 13.
Oakland Mills 12, Long Reach 7
Sara Novak scored four goals and Kaity Browne and Yasmine Megdiche both found the back of the net twice in the Scorpions’ win over the Lightning (0-7). The win is the fourth straight for Oakland Mills (5-2).
Goals: OM — Sara Novak 4, Kaity Browne 2, Yasmine Megdiche 2, Brenna Carter, Ella Novak, Kylie Tracy, Rebecca Smelkinson; LR — Babik 3, Benefield 2, Ditter, Vincent.
Assists: OM — E. Novak, Smelkinson.
Saves: OM — Katie Oliver 4; LR — Wehr 9.
Halftime: 5-4, OM.
Wilde Lake 13, Hammond 4
Cassie Montgomery scored a game-high six goals — to go along with an assist, eight draw controls, six ground balls and two caused turnovers — for a Wildecats (3-3) team that defeated the Golden Bears (1-4) for their second straight win.
Other standouts for Wilde Lake were Safaa Sattar (2 goals, assist), Josie Pittman (2 goals, assist, 2 ground balls), Lia Carlesi (goal, assist, 3 ground balls, 4 draw controls) and goalie Erica Sweitzer (nine saves).
Hannah Haber (2 goals) led the offense and goalie Mia Addo (19 saves) led the defense in the loss for Hammond.
Goals: WL — C. Montgomery 6, S. Sattar 2, J. Pittman 2, L. Carlesi 1, K. Hunter 1, S. Stachel 1; Ha — H. Haber 2, N. Nguyen 1, J. Williamson 1.
Assists: WL — Montgomery, Sattar, Pittman, Carlesi; Ha — L. Hughes 1.
Saves: WL — E. Sweitzer 9; Ha — M. Addo 19.
Halftime: 10-3, WL.
Howard 5, Long Reach 0
No. 1 singles: Andrew Au, Ho def. Praise Apanisile, LR (8-0)
No. 2 singles: Niko Bifsas, Ho def. Joel Pollack, LR (8-0)
No. 1 doubles: Richie Pemberton and Alex Brousseau, Ho def. Joshua Eom and Ben Greenberg, LR (8-5)
No. 2 doubles: Amrit Magesh and Tyler Nguyen, Ho def. Chris Lopez and Chris Shin, LR (8-3)
No. 3 doubles: Charlie Veihmeyer and Jeff Harvey, Ho (win by default)
River Hill 5, Atholton 0
No. 1 singles: Sebastian Lair, RH def. Daniel Etcheberrigarary, A (8-0)
No. 2 singles: Aaron Zhao, RH def. Jason Lilly, A (8-0)
No. 1 doubles: Jai Khanna and Zach Lee, RH def. Alex Nguyen and Steven Tzeng, A (8-0)
No. 2 doubles: Vraj Patel and Daniel Majorana, RH def. David Szympruch and Anthony Zhou, A (8-0)
No. 3 doubles: Dhruv Gupta and Jalen Geason, RH def. Gabe Schauf and Nithish Sivakumaran, A (8-0)
Marriotts Ridge 5, Hammond 0
No. 1 singles: Pedro Arantes Gabriel, MR def. Tyler Prudhomme, Ha (8-0)
No. 2 singles: Rafa Feldman, MR def. Holden Rushing, Ha (8-0)
No. 1 doubles: Shreyas Rath and Sai Charan Chodavarapu, MR def. Austin Uwimana and Hussain Masood, Ha (8-0)
No. 2 doubles: Revanth Bairi and Alex Wang, MR def. Huy Tran and Brandon Nguyen, Ha (8-1)
No. 3 doubles: Ethan Bernstein and Aryan Jadhav, MR def. Sohan Modi and Gabe Porter, Ha (8-0)
Centennial 5, Oakland Mills 0
Reservoir 5, Wilde Lake 0
Mt. Hebron 3, Glenelg 2
Howard 5, Long Reach 0
No. 1 singles: Corinne Chau, Ho def. Madison Lee, LR (8-0)
No. 2 singles: Marina Kim, Ho def. Sanye Thorne, LR (8-1)
No. 1 doubles: Viola Yu and Presley Caroland, Ho def. Preethi Narayanan, LR (8-1)
No. 2 doubles: Amelia Krieg and Shannon Clifford, Ho def. Brianna Burford and Zio Par, LR (8-0)
No. 3 doubles: Medha Hegde and Varsha Kantheli, Ho def. Skylar Owens and Kaitlin Johnson, LR (8-2)
River Hill 5, Atholton 0
No. 1 singles: Adelaide Houston, RH def. Jessica Zhou, A (9-7)
No. 2 singles: Maria Malik, RH def. Rissah Remy, A (8-3)
No. 1 doubles: Siri Jale and Elinor Tu, RH def. Lexi Nguyen and Niki Patel, A (8-3)
No. 2 doubles: Rebecca Ni and Ella Jiao, RH def. Jen Chiang and Alisa Hira, A (8-3)
No. 3 doubles: Pooja Swamykumar and Sienna Rader, RH def. Talia Brown and Eulalia Voo, A (8-6)
Marriotts Ridge 3, Hammond 2
No. 1 singles: Shivaani Selvan, Ha def. Srinidhi Arumugam, MR (8-0)
No. 2 singles: Janel McCray, Ha def. Megan Wagner, MR (8-4)
No. 1 doubles: Anna Ottman and Gabby Tseytlin, MR def. Megan Martin and Ronia Agyeman, Ha (8-1)
No. 2 doubles: Charita Sandoze and Hashini Amarasinghe, MR def. Man Huai and Cingh Cing, Ha (8-1)
No. 3 doubles: Varsha Devireddy and Leah Liu, MR def. Olivia Ametewee and Mayuri Chakkara, Ha (8-6)