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South Whidbey fastpitch beats Archbishop Murphy in 10-inning battle
The South Whidbey fastpitch softball team took on Archbishop Murphy for the third time this season on Monday, and won 6-5, though it took an international tie-breaker to do it.
The Falcons are now 11-6 and Murphy is 11-5, while Granite Falls remains undefeated at 15-0.
With South Whidbey down 4-0 in the third inning, Alex Kubeska fired a triple into left field, for three RBIs.
“It was a great boost for the girls and got us squarely back in the game,” said Falcon coach Don Wood.
By the end of the seventh inning, the score was 5-5. Neither team scored in the eighth, so an international tie-breaker was begun in the ninth.
This system allows each inning to begin with a runner on second base and no outs. Again, neither team was able to generate a run to win the game.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, with Allison Wood positioned on second, Kubeska was intentionally walked — a nod by the Murphy pitcher to Kubeska’s third-inning heroics. Kelsey Dorpat grounded out, but moved the runners to second and third.
Alannah Alber then drove a single to right field, scoring Wood from third for the winning run.
The Falcon dugout cleared, the fans went crazy and all agreed that life is good — at least for those wearing blue and white.
Falcon pitcher Katy Piehler again stood up to the pressure with eight strikeouts.
“Although she gave up nine hits, only one of them was for extra bases; the rest were well-hit singles, but nothing that would allow ATM to start any sort of rally,” Wood said.
“She really hit her spots this evening,” Wood said. “A good part of her success needs to go to catcher Nikki Parra and pitching coach Ashley Lopez. I had Ashley relay to Nikki what pitch to have Katy throw, including the location. With Ashley calling the pitch, Nikki relayed it to Katy, then she just does her job.”
“It has paid off by keeping the hitters guessing,” he said.
Today, the girls travel to Granite Falls for the final game of the season. If South Whidbey wins and Murphy loses one of its two remaining games, the Falcons will move into second place.
Regardless of the outcome, the team will have its first playoff game on May 21 in Sedro-Woolley against a Northwest League opponent.