Northup brilliant on mound in first elimination game

Bella Northup fields a ball and throws out a runner against the Bellevue East/Bellevue Thunderbird/Mercer Island Little League juniors division team on Sunday

Central Whidbey’s season came to a crashing end Monday at the Little League junior All-Stars softball tournament at Meridian Park in Shoreline.

The team of 13/14-year-olds lost 15-12 to Woodinville, which eliminated Central Whidbey from the state tournament.

Things in Shoreline started off rocky for Whidbey. Ridgefield, the District 6 champion, defeated Central Whidbey 11-4 in both teams’ first game Saturday.

But Whidbey rallied for a close victory Sunday over Bellevue/Mercer Island. Boosted by the bat of Sarah Wright and the arm of Bella Northup, the Central Whidbey team returned to its winning ways with a 4-1 win.

Wright drilled a two-run home run with Katrina McGranahan, who reached base on a single, aboard in the fifth inning to snap a 1-1 tie.

Northup, meanwhile, buzzed through the District 9 lineup with a one-hitter complete game, striking out nine and walking two.

Central Whidbey’s first run came on Robin Cedillo’s RBI single that drove home Northup. Hope Lodell tacked on the final run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Central Whidbey shook off the first-game jitters that haunted it the day before to play error-free, “solid fundamental defense,” according to coach Kevin McGranahan.

The win lifted Central Whidbey’s season record to 18-1 and pushed it into a loser-out game with Woodinville on Monday. Woodinville opened the tournament with a 17-5 win over Evergreen and then lost 12-3 to Auburn.

Photo courtesy of Kelly Crownover