At the start of the season, Glen Burnie coach Bob Broccolino didn't hold back his disappointment in reference to his Gophers uncharacteristic 8-9 record in 1999.
He quickly added: "And that's not going to happen this year."
Fast-forward to the bottom of the eighth yesterday afternoon in a tie game against visiting Severna Park.
Tiffany Jordan started the extra inning on second courtesy of the international rule, came to third on a perfectly-placed sacrifice bunt by Tina Willis and then came across on Amy Ranier's suicide squeeze.
The 4-3 win against the No. 6 Falcons was just another example of Glen Burnie's return.
It also all but assured the Gophers (13-3, 12-3 in Anne Arundel) a spot in Thursday's Anne Arundel County championship game against first-place Northeast. A win at Annapolis on Monday would secure the invitation.
"We're doing whatever needs to be done," said Broccolino, who guided the Gophers to the Class 4A state crown in 1998. "Earlier in the game we didn't get a couple bunts down. I asked Amy [Ranier]: `How confident are you with the squeeze?' She said `I'm going to do whatever it takes.'"
The Gophers had to come back from two deficits late in the game to send it into extra innings.
Severna Park (12-7, 10-5) took a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Megan Freienmuth (2-for-3) found chalk with an RBI triple down the first-base line, later scoring an error.
With two on and two out in the Gophers' fifth, Willis brought home both with a sharp single past short to tie the game. After Severna Park answered with one run in the sixth, the Gophers rallied in their last at-bat - a Jordan single driving in Amanda Conley.
In the eighth, Severna Park left its complimentary runner on third before the Gophers executed properly in the bottom half.
Senior Denise Schultheis allowed five hits to get the win for the Gophers, offsetting a solid performance from Severna Park starter Lauren Pollock.
Despite the loss, Severna Park coach Jeff Shepherd was pleased with the effort.
"Right now, it's all about building to the state tournament," said Shepherd. "My kids came to play and showed a lot of enthusiasm."