Sun shines brightly on fastpitch opener

Freshman ace Christie Robinson makes a hard toss at the plate in the second inning of the Falcons
Freshman ace Christie Robinson makes a hard toss at the plate in the second inning of the Falcons' season opener. Over two innnings, Robinson allowed no hits.
— image credit: Matt Johnson

After huddling indoors for more than a week as snow and rain canceled games and fouled their field, the Falcon fastpitch girls could not have hoped for a better season opener than they got Monday.

Under sunny skies and playing in shirtsleeve weather, the Falcons finished off visiting Meridian quickly and painlessly in a six-inning, 11-1 game.

Seeming to have lost little in the hitting department after last week's rainouts, the girls pounded Trojan pitching early. Junior Mary Murphy kick-started the 2002 Falcon offense with a leadoff triple in the first inning. The rest of the Falcon batting order followed to spark a four-run spurt. Carolann Lubach put the team's first runs of the year on the scoreboard when she hit a two RBI double.

When the Trojans were finally able to send the Falcons into the field, their lot did not improve. Throwing pure heat, freshman pitcher Christie Robinson confounded Meridian's hitters through two innings with three strikeouts and a three-up, three-down second inning.

As the game wore on, the South Whidbey girls kept pounding. They scored two runs in the third inning and five in the sixth to take a 10-run lead and end the game early on the sports mercy rule. Building their batting stats along with the Falcon lead were junior Julie Robinson with a 3-for-4, two run, two RBI performance at the plate; Ashley Lopez, who was 2-for-2 with 1 RBI in addition to pitching four innings and six strikeouts worth of relief; and Keasha Campbell, who went 2-for-3 with one RBI.

Freshman Carrie Anderson came up with the defensive play of the game. With a Trojan runner on base in the top of the fifth, Anderson sprinted to the fence on a long fly ball to make a tiptoe catch just inches away from a collision with galvanized chainlink.

Falcon Coach Todd Lubach said getting the chance to play the season opener was a treat.

"After all the rainouts, it was a great feeling to have the sun out and finally play softball," he said. "Our pitching looked great and as a team we had a chance to start working some of the bugs out."

The team's first four scheduled games -- two against Burlington-Edison, one against Sequim and one against Granite Falls -- were rained out last week. They play next against Nooksack today on the road.

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