WJ softball’s historic season ends with 3-0 loss to Catonsville.

Alex Wolfson

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courtesy of WJ Athletics

WJ softball huddles together after their loss to Catonsville in the state quarterfinals. It was a record breaking season for the team.

After defeating Wootton to win regionals, WJ softball advanced to the state quarterfinals for the first time in school history. In the quarterfinals they were tasked with playing undefeated Catonsville High School on the road, a high school with a rich softball history, with two finals (1978, 2003) and three semi finals (2000, 2001, 2006) appearances in the state tournament over the years.

WJ rose to the occasion, playing Catonsville as close as it could get. WJ pitcher Sami Rosenberg, just a freshman, pitched an unbelievable game. In five innings, Rosenberg held the undefeated team to just three runs. One of which was unearned, as the runner who scored reached on an error. The other two runs were scored by Catonsville’s aggressive base running. In one instance, a Catonsville player hit a single, but when WJ left fielder Emily Horan threw the ball into Rosenberg, the Cantonsville player stole second. She would score on a hit later in the inning. Later on, with a Catonsville player on third, a Catonsville player drew a walk, but instead of stopping at first, she stole second. This created confusion and the Catonsville runner on third ran home. Rosenberg recognized the double steal and threw home. In a close play, the umpire called her safe (to the dismay of the WJ fans). These plays were how Catonsville got their runs.

Earlier in the game, during the second inning, Catonsville threatened to break the 1-0 game open with the bases loaded and no outs. It was a tense moment, but Rosenberg took it to another level. She struck out two consecutive batters, with the crowd rising to their feet after each one. The next batter hit a shot out to center field, where freshmen Mackenzie Norris calmly caught it, ending the early inning threat.

WJ’s solid defense and strong pitching kept the game close, but Catonsville’s pitcher proved to be too much. She was one of the fastest pitchers in the state, and had over 15 strikeouts. WJ was no hit by her through 5 innings. In the 6th inning, trailing 3-0, WJ rallied. Rosenberg ended the no-hitter with a single to left field. Senior Sophia Lynch followed it up with a single. The Catonsville pitcher dialed up a great pitch to the next WJ batter, Brooke Levin, who hit it into foul territory. The Catonsville first basemen sprinted to it and caught it on the run, a spectacular play to end the rally. In the WJ’s final at bat they rallied again. Freshmen Carly Gilder and Amanda Siminsky both singled. But the Catonsville pitcher dug deep and struck out the other WJ batters to win the game.

WJ’s season did not end the way they wanted, but it was memorable and record breaking nonetheless. To all known information, this is the greatest WJ softball team in school history. Seniors Sophia Lynch, Emily Horan, Kristin Vargas, Sarah Chatfield, Olivia Zaid and Amanda Prince will all be missed for all they did to change the softball program.

The future is bright at WJ softball with the great pitching duo of Rosenberg and Siminsky, both freshmen this year. Outfielders Norris and Rachael Wolfson as well as shortstop Gilder are also freshmen. Second baseman Maya Rickles (who could not play in the playoffs due to injury) and first baseman Brooke Levin are both sophomores.

The Regional Championship and the incredible season will be celebrated with a banner in WJ’s gym.