Many say that the best way to win a championship is through pitching and defense. Bohemia Manor did just that, winning its third straight Class 1A state championship title with an 8-0 victory over Sparrows Point on Saturday.
Bohemia Manor’s Madison Penta, an Auburn commit, pitched no-hitter and tied the state championship record with 19 strikeouts. She also struck out 18 as a freshman in 2017’s final.
The junior attributes her team’s title run to playing strong defense and hard work.
“I think it’s definitely practice,” Penta said. “We practice on the details and the fundamentals every day of practice. We go to practice six times a week and we work on things there. It makes it a lot easier when we get into the game, and it looks like we’ve done it a million times – which we have.”
Sparrows Point (11-11) finished its season exceeding expectations. The Pointers were below .500 coming into the playoffs, but they made a run all of the way to the finals.
Sarrows Point head coach Duke Vickery said he was proud of his team.
“Just going seven innings against that girl [Penta] is amazing because she is completely unhittable,” Vickery said. “I think they played a game – we just had a few mistakes in it, but we made some really good plays too. We’ve got a young pitcher [Karen Fritzges] who’s learning as she goes. It looks like we have a good future ahead of us. We’ve got a young team and I’m thinking that we’re going to have a better season next year.”
Bohemia Manor (21-1) capitalized on walks, errors and wild pitches.
Their first two runs came in the bottom of the second inning. Anna Wilson walked with the bases loaded to score Morgan Koehler and then Aubrey Heath scored on a wild pitch to give them a 2-0 lead.
Carlee Ferguson led off the bottom of the third for Bohemia Manor with a double and scored when Koehler grounded out. In the fourth inning, Alexis Hopper was hit by a pitch and Anna Wilson laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance her to second. Hopper scored on Morgan Mullin’s double,.
That wouldn’t be all for Mullin, as she tripled in the sixth inning with the bases loaded. Reagan Goldsmith put the icing on the cake by singling to score Mullin. She went 2-for-4 with four runs batted in, leading the way for Bohemia Manor at the plate.
For Bohemia Manor, this is its sixth state championship (1992, 1994, 1995, 2017, 2018, 2019) in school history. Head coach Ed Abshagen has seen his team continually stick together and play for one another throughout the season. He also had something special in mind for three of his players.
“With everybody playing today, 15 players got in the game today,” Abshagen said. “My goal was -- there’s three sisters on the team, two seniors [Abigail Heath and Aubrey Heath] and a freshman [Emily Heath]. My goal was to get the three of them on the field as my second baseman, shortstop and third baseman – they’re all sisters and that was my goal because the two seniors are studying to be doctors. So, they can’t play ball.
“For the freshman, it’ll be the last time that she plays ball with her sisters and by having that – ‘Hey, I’m not just a tag along’ – because sometimes your weakest link will drag other children down by negativity. In this way, we’ve been fortunate enough that everybody has participated in about ninety percent of the games.”
-- Kyle J. Andrews, Baltimore Sun Media Group
Huntingtown 2, No. 2 Chesapeake.-AA 0: The defending-champion Hurricanes (22-1) scored two runs in the sixth inning and shut out the Cougars (20-4) in the Class 3A state final at University of Maryland.
State finals: Marriotts Ridge and Centennial have been Howard County’s premier tennis programs the last couple years and their talent carried them to team titles on Saturday at the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association state tennis championships at Wilde Lake Tennis Club.
The Mustangs had three finalists and a state champion — Stephen Alam and Veronica Cuellar in Class 2A mixed doubles — to earn 55 points and outpace Hereford (48) for the 2A state championship, while the Eagles (62) put two in the finals to edged Huntingtown (52) to win the 3A title.
Individually, Hammond’s Origen Grear also won gold by winning the 2A boys singles championship.
Marriotts Ridge’s Revanth Bairi and Brandon Tseytlin (2A boys doubles) and Kallista Liu (2A girls singles), River Hill’s Maanasa Gurram and Siri Jale (2A girls doubles) and Kartik Gupta and Defne Demirekler (2A mixed doubles), Mt. Hebron’s Michael Kimack (3A boys singles), and Centennial’s Danny Ho and Ryan Huang (3A boys doubles) and Abby Jackson and Shreya Vallimanalan (3A girls doubles) were all runners-up.
Centennial’s Rose Huang (3A girls singles) and Olivia Tsai and Christopher Chen (3A mixed doubles), Reservoir’s Grace Tao and Allyson Sears (3A girls doubles) and Oakland Mills’ Henri Burkhard (2A boys singles) finished third.
Mt. Hebron’s Abishay Reddy and Adam Sowers (3A boys doubles) and Atholton’s Niki Patel and Sahil Patel (3A mixed doubles) placed fourth.
The MPSSAA changed the format for the tournament this season and for the first time crowned a team champion in each of the four classifications, and they also changed the individual component. Instead of having a single champion and a 16-man bracket in the each of the five disciplines, each classification had an eight-man bracket for girls and boys singles, boys and girls doubles and mixed doubles.
Abby Moghtader, who has primarily played singles during her career at Severna Park, teamed with her younger sister, Miriam, and the result was a Class 4A girls doubles championship.
The Moghtader sisters won all three matches to win the Class 4A East Region title, then did the same at the state tournament. They clinched their state title with a 6-2, 7-6(5) victory over Northwest’s Radha Patel and Jhanvee Patel.
Emily Brecker and Noelle Htwar earned Liberty’s first tennis state championship when the juniors won the Class 2A title.
Brecker and Htwar topped River Hill’s Maanasa Gurram and Siri Jale in straight sets, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4, and capped an undefeated season with a come-from-behind victory.
-- Tim Schwartz, Pat Stoetzer and Bob Hough, Baltimore Sun Media Group
Class 2A: 1. Marriotts Ridge, 55 points; 2. Hereford, 48; 3. Easton, 46; 4. Liberty, 41; 5. River Hill, 37; 9. Hammond, 20; 14. Oakland Mills, 13; 19. Glenelg, 9.
Class 3A: 1. Centennial, 62; 2. Huntingtown, 52; 3. South Hagerstown, 35; 4. Rockville, 34; 5. Bel Air, 34; 6. Mt. Hebron, 33; 9. Atholton, 20; 12. Reservoir, 17; 30. Long Reach, 4.
Class 4A: 1. Whitman, 49; 2. Broadneck, 39; 3. South River, 36; 4. Wheaton, 35; 5. Severna Park, 30; 15. Howard, 17.