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Falcons win the big one

"Marianna Norby hits the dirt to score the game's only run in the bottom of the seventh inning on a two-out bunt. Jim Larsen/staff photoA two-out, two-strike bunt in the bottom of the last inning produced a win of historic proportions for the South Whidbey fastpitch team Tuesday.The home crowd went wild as pinch hitter Ashley Lopez laid down the bunt. Marianna Norby raced home from third, sliding in for the winning run. The pitcher bobbled the bunt, and Lopez crossed the bag safely as the first baseman bobbled the eventual throw.The 1-0 win was made possible by the no-hit pitching of Val Mock, who faced only 23 batters over seven innings. Mount Baker and South Whidbey entered the game tied for second place in the North Cascades League; now the Falcons are all alone in second with a 7-1 record.Coach Renee Christian knew that a two-out, two-strike bunt violated the basic rules of baseball and would have given Casey Stengel a heart attack. In fact, she said afterwards, it was a mistake. The coaches didn't realize Lopez had two strikes so Christian flashed the bunt sign. Lopez followed orders and the rest is history. She laid down the perfect bunt, Christian said. She did what we told her.The Mount Baker pitcher gave up only two hits, one in the seventh to Norby and one earlier to Mock.The top of the seventh was equally thrilling. One Mount Baker batter reached first base on a walk, then the next hitter scorched a line drive to right field. Mary Murphy leaped and snared the ball, then fired to first to double up the runner. She saved the no-hitter, said Christian. And perhaps the game.Thursday the Falcons beat Mount Baker in a mudfest at South Whidbey. Lopez and Mock, coming off back-to-back no-hitters, shared the pitching chores, with South Whidbey prevailing 8-4.It was ugly but we won, said Christian, adding that the game should not have been played but Blaine had traveled so far that they didn't want to waste the trip. it was miserable, pouring rain.Keasha Campbell led the Falcon hitting attack with two hits, including a triple, and two runs batted in.Next week the Falcons play at Meridian on Monday and host Granite Falls Tuesday."

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