Fastpitch team's fantastic year ends

"All good things have to come to an end, as did the South Whidbey fastpitch team's fantastic season on Saturday.The Falcons lost two straight games, 8-4 to Foster and 3-1 to Orting, and were eliminated from the Class 2A bi-district tournament held at Sprinker Field in Spanaway.But it's not the losing that will be remembered in the sports history of South Whidbey. The 2000 fastpitch team reversed a 39-game losing streak in the two prior years to take third place in the North Cascades Conference and advance to district for the first time in its history.Plus, it loses only seniors Marianna Norby and Elisha Ishii to graduation. So the future is promising indeed.The only way they can go is up, said coach Renee Christian of her talented young team. We're real close, and it was such a turnaround.Freshman Val Mock pitched in the opener against Foster. After two scoreless innings Foster scored 3 in the third, but the Falcons retaliated with 4 runs of their own in the 4th.Foster then took a 7-4 led, but even in the last inning the Falcons were competing. We had the bases loaded with two outs in the seventh. We just didn't get the hit we needed, Christian said.South Whidbey collected only 3 hits against the two Foster pitchers. Mock doubled, while Lauren Johnson and Jenny Murphy each singled. Foster batters had 9 hits.In the loser-out game two, Christian sent her other freshman pitcher, Ashley Lopez, to the rubber against Orting. Orting scored one in the first on a balk, but Lopez gave up only 2 more runs the entire game, with both coming in the 5th.Down 3-0 in the seventh, Marianna Norby singled for the Falcons, advanced on a single by Lopez, and scored on a single by Mock. But the sole run was all the Falcons could manage against good Orting pitching, and their season ended.South Whidbey's North Cascades leaguemates did well at the tournament, with Nooksack Valley taking the championship and Mount Baker earning the fifth and final place to the state tournament."

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