H-town softball gets back where it started
Huntingtown’s softball teams made it all look rather easy in the first years of the school’s existence. The Hurricanes won the Class 3A state championship in their first season in the spring of 2005, and then followed up with state titles in 2006 and 2007 for good measure.
The reality was it wasn’t easy, and finding the way back to a fourth state championship took over a decade. But on May 26 Huntingtown finally finished that journey, defeating Westminster 5-0 in the 3A championship game.
Huntingtown had reached the state final in each of the previous two seasons, but settled for a runner-up finish on both occasions. In the 2018 final the Hurricanes controlled the action from the outset, taking a 3-0 lead in the third inning. That proved to be more than enough support for pitcher Tori Fletcher, who allowed just two hits and struck out nine in the shutout victory.
“We felt if we played our game no one, I don’t care who it is, could play with us,” Huntingtown head coach Mike Johnson said following the game. “That’s a very good team. Westminster, to get here, has to be a very good team. But from the time we came out of warmups we showed everybody we had one goal in mind and nothing was going to get in the way.”
Having played in the state final each of the previous two seasons, the moment did noth- ing to intimidate the Hurricanes.
“Our whole thing this year was one game at a time. So we got here today and were like, ‘This doesn’t feel like state championship game. It’s just another game.’ It was just another thing we had to do,” said Huntingtown’s Alexis Mann, who was 3 for 4 with a double in the state final. “It was really easy to come and play our game. Eleven of our girls had prior experience on this field. It was nice knowing that eight of the nine starters tonight had played on this field before.”
Huntingtown was at its best in the postseason, outscoring its opponents 41-0 over five playoff games.
“I’m just so proud of this team,” Johnson said. “They’ve worked since March 1 to be out here. This has been the goal, but we never looked past anybody. I think that’s what impresses me more than anything. They’ve never looked past one team that we played. Every team that we played their focus was win this game. Their focus was one game at a time and they did it every single time we walked out onto the field.”
“It feels great, but it’s kind of bittersweet,” Fletcher added. “We have seven seniors leaving. One of them is my catcher who’s been my catcher for three years and one is the third baseman and is my best friend. So it’s definitely bittersweet, but it feels great to finally finish it.”
Huntingtown’s softball team won the Class 3A state championship in 2018. It was the program’s first state crown since 2007 and its fourth overall.