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South Whidbey softball sputters at district tourney
Fighting for a spot in the tri-district softball playoffs, a late-inning meltdown broke South Whidbey’s sixth-inning lead against Lynden Christian.
The Falcons amassed 15 hits and led 5-1 by the sixth inning. South Whidbey was six outs away from qualifying for the regional playoffs Saturday, and another step closer to the state tournament that hasn’t had a Falcon fastpitch squad in more than five years.
Everything went awry in the sixth inning. Lynden Christian strung together singles and walks and battered South Whidbey for eight runs.
“It was a one after another kind of deal,” said Falcon head coach Ashley Lopez. “They were legit hits, and we put ourselves in that situation.”
Playing with the lead, the Lyncs closed out the game, and closed the book on the Falcons’ season. Lynden Christian moved on while, South Whidbey packed up from a playoff run that included a 13-3 blowout loss to Mount Baker and an 8-6 win over Friday Harbor.
“I think we were the best team in the tournament,” Lopez said. “If we had been firing on all eight cylinders, like a Hemi, like we were against Cedarcrest and a few other games, I believe my girls could have taken that tournament. We were all disappointed we lost to Lynden Christian.”
The first-round game was a recipe for disaster for the Falcons. South Whidbey mustered seven hits, including a home run by senior Alex Kubeska, against five strikeouts. What few base runners South Whidbey produced were left on the bag too often to overcome the team’s six errors.
“We swung at bad pitches,” Lopez said. “Our defense really lost it in some spots of the innings.”
In the second game Friday afternoon, the three-win Falcons faced Friday Harbor, one of the few squads they beat this season, albeit in an exhibition.
South Whidbey surged to an early lead and almost blew it in the sixth. Friday Harbor rallied with five runs and the game looked like it would swing the Wolverines’ way.
The Falcons, however, closed the inning and the game thanks to a pre-game talk by Kubeska.