Reservoir High softball team said revenge was not the main source of motivation going into Tuesday’s matchup with Wilde Lake. The Gators saw an opportunity to establish themselves again as the team to beat in Howard County.
Mission accomplished. The No. 2 Gators defeated the eighth-ranked Wildecats, 15-8, in Columbia. Sophomore shortstop Shelly Granzow went 4-for-5 with 3 RBI for Reservoir (3-0 overall and Howard) and Andaiye Smith and UMBC recruit Courtney Johnson each drove in two.
Reservoir rallied with 12 runs between the fourth and fifth innings, winning its 31st straight regular season match in Howard County play. The Gators’ last regular season league loss occurred in 2018.
Reservoir sent an early message Tuesday the road to Howard County title will again run through Fulton. The Gators’ bid for a perfect season last spring was ruined by Wilde Lake (2-1, 2-1 Howard) in the Class 3A East Region 2 championship match.
“This is a brand new season and we’re approaching everything different,” said Reservoir coach Julie Frisvold. “The vibe is completely different. The reality is we want to keep moving forward.”
“We didn’t want to overhype anything or under hype anything,” said Gators rightfielder Michele Mason. “We knew we had to match them (Wilde Lake) offensively and were successful.”
Trailing 4-3, Reservoir scored 8 runs in the fourth with Mason starting it with a leadoff single to rightfield. Johnson’s 2-run single broke a 4-4 deadlock and a Wilde Lake misplay on a ball hit by Maggie Frisvold, with the bases loaded, made it 9-4.
The Gators sent 10 batters to the plate in the fourth. Eight more batted in the fifth as Granzow and junior Smith each had an RBI double.
“It’s about keeping things in your hands…we have to control the game,” said Julie Frisvold. “The only way we can control the game is by making the routine plays on defense and bringing our bats.”
Only one starter failed to get a hit as Mason, Abbie Frisvold and Campbell Saun each had an RBI for Reservoir. Sophomore second basemen Catherine Yourishin went 3-for-4 and Smith and Mason each finished 2-for-5.
Reservoir was two outs away from a mercy rule decision, but a throwing error allowed two runs to score for Wilde Lake in the home fifth. Justyce Richard’s opposite-field 2-run shot over the right field fence in the sixth, got Wilde Lake to within 15-8.
Richard went 2-for-2 and drove in 3 for the Wildecats, and Brooke Weining finished 2-for-3 with an RBI. Maci Nichols and Nokomis Styers each knocked in a run.
Wilde Lake enjoyed one of its finest seasons last spring, capped with a come-from-behind victory at Reservoir for its first region championship. The Wildecats jumped out to a 2-0 advantage in the first inning Tuesday before Reservoir responded with 3 runs in the visitors’ second.
Nichols’ RBI double and Weinig’s RBI single regained the lead for Wilde Lake in the home portion of the second. Things went backward for the Wildecats in the fourth and fifth, but recovered to take the game to the distance.
“We had one inning where things unraveled. We were on the verge of getting mercy rule and we said not today, not on our field,” said Wilde Lake coach Tee Droneberg. “That was the ultimate Wildecat spirit…That’s how you learn and grow and become a team.”
NO. 2 RESERVOIR 15, NO. 8 WILDE LAKE 8
Reservoir 030 840 0 - 15 16 3
Wilde Lake 220 022 0 - 8 9 3
Smith, A. Frisvold (6), Smith (7) and A. Frisvold, Mason (6); Richard, Weinig (4) and Jascewsky
2B: Reservoir - A. Frisvold, Granzow 2, Smith; Wilde Lake - Nichols
HR: Wilde Lake - Richard