Girls face hot Tiger bats in loss at home

In the third inning

LANGLEY — The Falcons played Granite Falls at home this week hoping to cool down the Tigers bats, but fell instead 9-1.

Katy Piehler started on the mound going five innings, giving up four base hits that drove in three Tiger earned runs while striking out two batters.

Piehler took some time finding her locations, resulting in a throw straight down the pipe instead of inside and low. The result was a huge Tiger home run — nice job, even if it was a Tiger score.

“Katy settled down in the third and was able to hit her pitch locations,” Falcon coach Chuck Burton said.

“Granite Falls is a good hitting team and for a pitcher to be successful against them, you have to move the ball around the plate and change pitch speed, keeping the batters guessing and off balance,” he said.

Reliever Mary Brown came in with two outs in the fifth and stopped the Tigers’ charge, although Granite Falls went on to win the game by eight runs.

Jazmyn Graham drove in the only South Whidbey score with an RBI single to right field that brought in Allison Wood across home plate.

“I think we need to start concentrating on getting hits at the start of the game,” Melanie

Murphy said.

“We let things get us down too easily. They were good — a bunch of their girls play on select teams on the mainland — but we do ourselves in,” she said.

Alannah Alber agreed.

“It’s hard to brush off our mistakes, to think more about what’s coming next and not what just happened,” she said.

Burton noted the hardest part of their schedule is upon them; Lakewood, Archbishop Murphy and Cedarcrest are coming up in April.

“These were the top teams in the league and kept their seniors,” the coach said. “The next two years, it’ll be our turn. But first, we need to overcome our mental mistakes, jump back from an error and take the initiative from the other guys.”

The girls are 2-2 in Cascade Conference play, 3-3 overall.

Despite the loss to Granite Falls, the girls are confident and intend to be fully competitive in every game.

“Our attitude is still positive; no one is getting down,” Murphy said.

The Falcons host Cedarcrest at 4 p.m. Monday, March 31 for the first of three league contests.

Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or sports@southwhidbey