COLLEGE PARK - In its perfect run to the Class 3A state softball championship game, Reservoir High hit the ball hard…really hard. The Gators scored nearly 300 runs, helping pave the way to Friday night’s ultimate match under the lights at the University of Maryland.

Reservoir put the ball in play, but unfortunately, Damascus was up to the challenge. The Montgomery County school denied the top-ranked Gators an undefeated season and first state championship with a 2-0 victory.

“We hit the ball hard a lot, they just made all the plays. Kudos to them,” said Reservoir coach Julie Frisvold. “It’s hard but you can’t let your head drop because that’s softball and that’s good softball.”

Two balls - one that found a gap in the outfield and one that sailed over the leftfield fence - was all Damascus (23-1 overall) needed to win its first state title since 1994. Isabella DiGiandomenico pitched a two-hitter for the Hornets.

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Maggie Frisvold and Courtney Johnson each had singles for the Howard County champ Gators (21-1), who were shutout for the first time since 2019.

But it wasn’t until DiGiandomenico nabbed Andiaye Smith’s come backer for a 1-3 putout for the second out in the bottom of the seventh that reality began to sink in for Reservoir.

“We did a good job of staying hype until the very end because I think no one thought we were out of it…our bats are strong,” said Johnson. “I think we continued to hit it hard until the end.”

The Fulton school was poised for a breakthrough in the fourth inning, down 1-0. Maggie Frisvold reached on an error. Campbell Sagin hit a ground ball to Damascus’ third basemen Riley Wheeler, whose force out throw to second hit off Quick’s glove, leaving Frisvold and Sagin safe.

Frisvold advanced to third and Sagin to second on Catherine Yourishin’s groundout to short. Michelle Mason hit a screeching liner that Hornets’ first basemen Allie Doyle got her glove up and snagged for the second out.

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Smith hit DiGiandomenico’s first offering back to the pitching circle. DiGiandomenico cleanly tossed the ball to Doyle to retire the side.

“I feel like our team put a lot of good barrels on the ball,” said Maggie Frisvold. “It was unlucky where we hit them.”

Frisvold was again brilliant on the mound, striking out 11 and allowing just three hits. She retired the first seven Hornet batters before Riley Wheeler lined Frisvold’s 1-2 offering into centerfield.

Frisvold fanned the next batter before falling behind, 1-0, to Damascus’ Fallon Quick. Quick drove the next offering to the left centerfield warning track, and Wheeler easily beat the throw home for the game’s first run.

Frisvold opened the sixth with her eighth strikeout. On the next pitch, DiGiadomenico sent a high fly ball over the leftfield fence for a 2-0 advantage.

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Frisvold went opposite field for a single to right with one out in the Gators’ sixth. Sagin sent a first pitch shot into right where Darmon moved about a foot to her right to grab.

When Damascus shortstop Alyssa Clark cleanly fielded Keira Walsh’s grounder and threw to Doyle, Reservoir’s season was over.

“It was a great game and I can’t be upset about anything,” said Julie Frisvold. “I think we fought hard…the ball just didn’t drop.”

DiGiadomenico, who struck out only three Friday, didn’t allow an earned run this season. Next spring, she will play for UMBC alongside Maggie Frisvold and Johnson.

The Gators, who lost in the 2021 3A state final, lose only Johnson and Frisvold from the roster. Reservoir won a third straight Howard County league title this spring.

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Julie Frisvold said her daughter and Johnson are leaving an indelible mark on the program.

“I really hope they (returning players) internalized the work ethic, perseverance and commitment that Maggie and Courtney really brought to this program,” said coach Frisvold. “I really hope when we kick off next year that we immediately have that mentality of how to go out there and win games and make things happen.”

Johnson said Reservoir softball is in a better place “than when we found it.”

“It took a lot of people to do that…knowing that softball is fun,” said Johnson.

CLASS 3A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

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at University of Maryland

DAMASCUS 2, NO. 1 RESERVOIR 0

Damascus 001 001 0 - 2 3 2

Reservoir 000 000 0 - 0 2 1

DiGiandomenico and Alexander; Maggie Frisvold and Abby Frisvold

2B: Damascus - Quick

HR: Damascus - DiGiandomenico

Derek Toney is content editor of Varsity Sports Network, a high school sports news network that became part of The Baltimore Banner in August 2022.

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