Falcons finish fastpitch softball season with double loss

The South Whidbey girls fastpitch team lost a pair of thrillers at District 1 playoffs in Lynden on Wednesday.

In the first contest, the girls lost to the Anacortes Seahawks 4-2 at Bender Park, then dropped a 5-3 game to the Mount Baker Mountaineers. The Falcons ended with a final record of 10-10 in league play and 12-10 overall.

“We had a good idea about the type of game the Seahawks play,” said Falcon coach Chuck Burton. “On offense, they hit the ball hard and steal bases, while their solid defense is known for shutting down opponent’s offenses with a quick-moving infield.”

Starting pitcher Rebecca Stratton (7-6 for the season) kept South Whidbey in the game by moving the ball around the plate, not letting the Anacortes batters control the game. Catcher Amanda Cochran threw out three of four Seahawk base runners trying to steal second base.

“Anacortes’ coach paid tribute to Amanda, saying she was the best-throwing catcher they have seen all year,” Burton noted.

The Falcon offense finally came alive in the sixth inning. Tylyn Linehan came to the plate and had a quality at-bat, drawing a walk, and scored on a triple off the bat of Allison Wood, who hit the ball to the left-field fence. Wood ended up scoring the Falcon’s second run on an Anacortes error. Melanie Murphy came to the plate and hit a double to keep the rally going. Two batters later, the Seahawks defense stepped up and turned a double play to end the inning to bring the score to a final 4-2.

In the second game of the tournament, the Falcons played Mount Baker in a loser-out contest. Pitcher Katy Piehler started the game, hoping for a win to keep the Falcon hopes alive.

South Whidbey took the lead early on with back-to-back hits by Alannah Alber with a double and Nicole Parra, who was 2-for-2 on the day. Mount Baker took the lead in the fifth inning, scoring two unearned runs and another in the sixth.

“We just didn’t get the momentum to take control,” the coach said. “But even after being eliminated, the team held their heads high knowing this winning season was a huge success.

"I'm very proud of the way this team played all season."

Before the game, Burton told the team to get their heads firmly in the action, to be fully aware of everything that was going on.

"We had too many errors," said Falcon catcher Cochran. "But we all played hard, especially in the second game, and both could have gone either way. Rebecca (Stratton) in the first game and Katy (Piehler) in the second, pitched really well. We'll be back next year."

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