Playing solid softball when it mattered the most, South Whidbey won two loser-out games Saturday, May 19, in the district 1A tournament in Sedro-Woolley to take third place and claim a ticket to the state tournament.
The Falcons (12-11) face Deer Park (16-6) at noon Friday, May 25, in the first round of the 16-team, double-elimination state tournament at the Columbia Playfield in Richland.
After losing to Mount Baker 5-4 in the district semi-finals, South Whidbey dropped into the loser-out consolation bracket, needing to win twice to grab the third and final district berth into the state tournament.
Behind the arm and bat of Mackenzee Collins, with big offensive assists from Ari Marshall and Melody Wilkie, The Falcons clubbed Cedar Park Christian-Bothell 15-0 in four innings and then knocked off Nooksack Valley 8-1 in the winner-to-state, third-place game.
Lynden Christian (19-3) defeated Mount Baker (16-7) in the championship game 5-3.
South Whidbey 15, Cedar Park Christian 0
Collins pitched a four-inning, two-hitter with nine strikeouts and one walk and was backed by an errorless defense. She also slugged a double and scored two runs in the romp.
Marshall paced the offense with three hits, two runs and five RBI.
Wilkie strokes a single and drove in two runs; Bella Northrup had a hit and scored four times; Natalie Wilmoth added a single and two runs; and Myah Majestic walked three times.
The Falcons scored six times in the first inning and continued the rout with five runs in the second. Marshall had a two-single in both frames.
South Whidbey combined seven hits with 12 walks and six CPC errors to roll to its fourth win this season over CPC (7-15).
South Whidbey 8, Nooksack Valley 1
Collins fired another two-hitter and struck out 12 and walked none in seven innings.
She also bashed four hits, including a double, and drove in two runs.
Wilkie finished with three hits, two RBI and two runs; Bekah Merrow added two singles; and Marshall ripped a base hit.
The Falcons steadily pulled away, scoring single runs in each of the first three innings before scoring twice in the fourth and three times in the sixth to eliminate the Pioneers (8-16).