GLEN DALE - John Marshall has it working one-through-nine (and 10-through-18).
The Monarchs ripped off their 17th and 18th consecutive victories with a doubleheader sweep of University on Thursday by identical scores of 9-1.
It was the second twinbill sweep in three days for Ed West's club, which lost the first two of the season, then took off.
PHOTO BY JIM ELLIOTT
University runner Megan Messiora (12) is tagged out trying to advance to second base by John Marshall shortstop Kylie Howard on Thursday.
''We didn't play very well those two games,'' West said. ''We made some mistakes and it cost us. That's behind us now. We're just looking forward and playing one at a time.''
They had a fairly easy time with the first one Thursday, as Amy Rotriga spun a two-hitter and Megan Garcia and Sissy George each roped home runs against the Hawks (4-8), the team JM eliminated in last season's regional semifinal.
The Monarchs jumped on University starting pitcher Savannah Bryner early, chasing her with one out in the second inning after she'd yielded seven runs and was responsible for an eighth (which later scored).
''We didn't show up to play ball,'' University coach Barb Solly said. ''They played good ball. You get two home runs, what are you going to do?''
George drove in two in the first with a two-run homer to right-center and Rotriga bounced a two-run single to left that scored two more.
Rotriga bats seventh in the Monarchs order.
''Our No. 9 hitter is batting close to .400,'' West said. ''That tells you how well we're hitting the ball. I got a lot of confidence in them one-through-nine.''
John Marshall tacked on four more in the second as George and Howard reached ahead of Garcia's three-run shot to left-center.
After Morgan Watson walked and moved up on a wild pitch, Alexa Jones drove her in with a single.
University scored its lone run when Megan Messiora singled in Bryner in the fourth.
JM finished things with a bases-loaded single by Kristin Lewicki in the fifth. Lewicki was 2-for-4 - the only Monarchs player to enjoy a multi-hit game.
''We're playing at a pretty high level,'' West said. ''It's all coming together. The girls are hitting the ball well. We're playing good defense and getting good pitching. You can't ask for much more.''
Messiora had both hits for University in the opener.
''We've hit the ball well,'' Solly said. ''(Thursday) we didn't. I think (Rotriga) is a good pitcher.
"But I think maybe we got excited and we were swinging at balls that weren't necessarily strikes.
"Had we been a little more patient, we might have had a better outcome.''