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White hits double, triple in 13-9 loss to Cedarcrest
Bookended three-run rallies by South Whidbey weren’t enough to overcome Cedarcrest’s steady scoring in a 13-9 loss on Thursday.
“Unfortunately there were just a few mental mistakes,” said South Whidbey head coach Don Wood.
The Falcons led 4-1 before South Whidbey (3-11 in Cascade Conference, 3-11 overall) loaded the bases in the top of the third inning.
Senior first baseman Taylor Pope was walked. Junior outfielder Brittany Wood was hit by a pitch. Haley Viers, the Falcons’ freshman second baseman, worked from a 1-2 count to a full count before she struck out to Cedarcrest pitcher Stephanie Paul on a high fastball.
Hannah Merrow slapped a single down the first baseline.
Then, at the top of the Falcons’ batting order, Chantel Brown hit a line drive over the infielders behind second base that scored Pope and Wood. Senior center fielder and co-captain Chantal White hit a grounder the Cedarcrest shortstop fumbled and all runners were safe. Alex Kubeska hit a line drive to left field that was caught and too shallow for Merrow to tag and score on a sacrifice hit. Zoey Maeser struck out, and the Falcons left three runners on base.
Through the rain and cold, South Whidbey led 6-1 going into the bottom of the third inning. Cedarcrest (10-3, 10-4 overall) scored five runs with one out. Katy Piehler got Cedarcrest second baseman Nat Anderson to hit a grounder to first base.
Then Cedarcrest’s hits poured in like the rain.
A line drive to the edge of the infield behind second base; a walk; a single through Viers’ outstretched glove to load the bases; a RBI single up the middle because the defense played in for a play at home; a RBI single down the first baseline; a RBI fielder’s choice that didn’t result in an out; a stolen base.
Then, the second out came on a force at second base. Another run scored on a passed ball before Cedarcrest left fielder Dani Kissinger grounded out to Kubeska, shortstop-to-first.
The game was tied 6-6, and Cedarcrest scored every inning after, while South Whidbey’s offense was the only thing that dried up in Duvall.
Once again, South Whidbey attempted a seventh-inning rally. The Falcons trailed 13-6 in the top of the seventh inning.
Viers led off with a grounder to Cedarcrest shortstop Sue Kenney and was thrown out at first base. Merrow hit a single up the middle of the infield.
With Brown at bat, Merrow advanced to second base on a passed ball. Brown was walked. White doubled to center field and Merrow scored from second base. Kubeska hit a sacrifice fly to center field and Brown tagged up at third and scored. Maeser hit a RBI single through the middle to score White before Hezel struck out on a called third strike to end the game.
“They can never count us out,” Coach Wood said.
Piehler allowed 10 runs on 10 hits, five walks and three strikeouts through five innings. The Falcons tallied 15 hits and five walks against five strikeouts.
White led the offense with 5-for-5 hitting including a double and a triple. Wood was 3-for-3 with a walk (hit by pitch), Brown was 2-for-3 and Merrow was 2-for-4.
“I was pleased with the way we came out hitting the ball against them,” Wood said. “In the past, we haven’t had that kind of production against Cedarcrest. In the previous game, we only scored four runs.”
The Falcons can score. South Whidbey averages 4.6 runs per game. The Falcons were scoreless in three games, all against the top three teams in the conference (Archbishop Murphy, Granite Falls and Cedarcrest). In their three wins, the Falcons scored eight, nine and 11 runs.
The difference between wins and losses, then, is defense. South Whidbey allows 8.8 runs through14 games this season.