For a few innings at least, South Whidbey held Granite Falls at bay.
The Falcon fastpitch team kept close through three innings March 29 on its home field.
Then the Tigers tore through the Falcon pitching and defense with nine runs in the fourth inning and another six scores in the fifth inning. Granite Falls won 18-1 in five innings, a shortened game due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Two errors early in the Tigers’ fourth inning at-bats resulted in one unearned run. The bobbled balls also rocked the Falcons’ confidence. Both mistakes were on infield grounders.
Granite Falls seized the opportunity and base-hitting fever caught on with the Tigers. They hit through the batting order with five singles, three doubles and one sacrifice fly that scored seven earned runs.
South Whidbey’s only score came on an error in the second inning. Ellie Greene, a senior, started the inning with a line drive single to shallow left field. Relying on her speed, she stole second base to get into scoring position. Chloe Huffman pulled a single to left field that moved Greene to third. With Abby Hodson at the plate, Huffman stole second base and when Granite Falls tried to throw her out, Greene sprinted home and Huffman moved on to third base. The inning ended with a called strikeout on Mackenzie Hezel and a strikeout on Calli Patterson.
South Whidbey had another missed chance at the plate in the third. With one out, the Falcons’ leadoff hitter Chantel Brown ripped a double to deep left field. Called to third base, Brown was tagged out by about a foot.
The Tigers hit through the order again in the fifth. Three doubles, a pair of singles and a couple of Falcon errors scored the final six runs of the game for Granite Falls.