South Whidbey softball goes through wild swings

South Whidbey sophomore Kacie Hanson sprints to first base against Friday Harbor after hitting a single in the third inning March 17.

South Whidbey was on both ends of lopsided games this week after routing Friday Harbor 12-0 Tuesday and being drubbed by Granite Falls 14-1 Thursday.

The Falcons clobbered the Wolverines after taking an early lead, 3-0 in the third inning March 17 for South Whidbey’s first game of the season. South Whidbey poured in more scoring in the fifth inning thanks to a pair of home runs. Callie Patterson, the Falcons’ senior second baseman, knocked a three-run homer that was later followed by senior catcher Anne Madsen’s two-run blast.

Mackenzee Collins, South Whidbey’s freshman pitcher, kept the defense mostly on its laurels as she recorded 13 strikeouts.

“That’s what I want, to make my fielders not have to field,” said Falcon head coach Tim Collins, also Mackenzee’s dad.

“She’s still a 14-year-old girl and there are 18-year-old girls that hit the ball,” he added, referring to other teams’ players in the Cascade Conference.

That seemed to come true as South Whidbey suffered its first loss, and a short one due to the 10-run mercy rule, against Granite Falls on March 19. Collins again started in the circle for South Whidbey, but gave up nine runs in five innings. Eight of the scores came in the third inning, a disastrous outing for the Falcons.

Bella Northup, also a Falcon freshman, took the ball in the sixth inning and gave up another five runs.

South Whidbey’s hitting was largely stymied, however, as the Falcons recorded only three hits against the Tigers.

Batting was a concern for the Falcons’ coach despite the team’s success and nine hits against Friday Harbor. He cited South Whidbey’s nine strikeouts as being worrisome heading into conference play.