By Mike Maltais
The Liberty Bell High School varsity girls’ softball team won a 12-10, toe-to-toe extra inning battle against the Darrington Loggers in the first round of state competition at Yakima last weekend but fell to both Napavine, 22 – 2, and Kittitas, 15 – 3, in a bid to make the state finals.
Loggers fall in OT
Coach Lee Pilkinton said his team and the 4-4 Loggers were very well matched.
“We didn’t score in either the first or second inning,” Pilkinton said. “Then in the third we got two runs and Darrington one.”
From that point the Lady Lions managed to lead the Loggers through most of the game while Darrington struggled back to knot the game in the fourth and seventh innings.
Liberty Bell carried a 10 – 9 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning when Darrington scored in its final at bat to send the game into extra innings, 10 – 10.
In the top of the eighth Julie McMillan and Kelsey Baldwin each hit an RBI single to give Liberty Bell a 12 – 10 lead. On the mound Baldwin held Darrington hitless to ice the game.
Napavine wins, 22-2
The eventual second-place Napavine Tigers handed the Lady Lions their first tournament loss.
“Napavine is just an awesome team,” Pilkinton said of the Tigers. “When they hit, they really hit hard. We played good defense but they just out-hit us. We got three good hits and two runs and Napavine scored 22 runs on 18 hits.”
“We played Kittitas in districts so I felt pretty comfortable facing them because we knew what to expect,” Pilkinton said.
In the earlier encounter played at Wenatchee Valley College on May 12, the Coyotes edged out a 5 – 4 win over the Lady Lions.
“We did pretty good for the first couple of innings,” the coach said of last Saturday’s game at state.
Second baseman Katherine Tannehill got on base with a triple in the first inning and scored when shortstop Korrie Perryman singled to make the score 1 – 1.
Neither side scored in the second but by the end of the third the Kittitas batters were finding the range and opened up a 5 – 3 lead over Liberty Bell. From that point through the next four innings the Coyotes added 10 runs on a total of 12 hits in a loser-out quarterfinal that eliminated Liberty Bell.
Sportsmanship medals were presented to Lauren Ochoa in the Darrington game, Kuirstin Pilkinton for the Napavine game and Perryman for the Kittitas game.
Coach Pilkinton had high praise for his team performance.
“These girls met every goal they set this season,” the coach said of his league champion and second-place district team. “They wanted to win league and they did. They wanted to go to districts and they did. They wanted to go to state, and they did.”
The Lady Lions lose four graduating seniors: Tannehill, Perryman, McMillan, and Lily Darwood.