By Mike Maltais
The Liberty Bell High School varsity girls’ softball team opened its season with one-sided doubleheader wins over Waterville on March 26 and split a second DH against Chelan’s varsity and JV teams on Saturday (March 29).
While the 1B Shocker team was “better than last year’s,” in the opinion of LBHS coach Lee Pilkinton, Waterville was no match for Liberty Bell’s returning roster of veteran players. In abbreviated games governed by the mercy rule to discourage excessive scoring, the Lady Lions took the first game, 20-2, in five innings and swept game two, 30-0, in three.
For the opening game against Waterville, coach Pilkinton’s starting lineup was loaded heavily with veterans including Kelsey Baldwin on the mound, Baylee Canedo, catcher, Lily Darwood, first base, Katherine Tannehill, second base, Korrie Perryman, shortstop, Kuirstin Pilkinton, third base, Carley McMeans, right field, Julie McMillan, center field and newcomer Lauren Ochoa holding down left field.
“Hitting is always a struggle early in the season,” Pilkinton said. But he noted that the Lady Lions “hit pretty well” in the first game.
Among the eight hits in the first game, Canedo belted a triple and Darwood went 2-5 before taking the mound to pitch game two.
“We had 21 walks in that first game so their pitcher helped us out a bit,” Pilkinton said of the 20 runs scored.
The hitting more than doubled in game two, with Tannehill smacking a triple, and doubles coming off the bats of Canedo, McMillan and Pilkinton.
As was the case last season, the Lady Lions traveled to Chelan to play a doubleheader against the 1A Goats’ junior varsity but ended up against Chelan’s varsity in the first game and a combined varsity-JV squad in the second.
“We lost, 15-1, to their varsity,” Pilkinton said, “but won the next game, 18-11, against a team comprised of both their varsity and JV players.”
“Our batting is improving,” Pilkinton said. “We had nine hits and 10 walks.”
Two of the hits came off the bat of shortstop Perryman, who hammered two homers over the fence. McMillan connected for a triple and Darwood doubled.
Eighth grader Ochoa, who came in from the outfield to play second base against Chelan hit a triple in her debut at the plate.
The Lady Lions will host Tonasket in a non-league game at 4:30 p.m. on April 10.