Softball team loses chance at State; tripped by Orting 3-1 | Softball

The Friday Harbor softball team needed three in a row to get to State.

And by clobbering Seattle Christian and Bellevue Christian in back-to-back, do-or-die games Saturday at the Tri-District tournament, the Wolverines put themselves in position to pull off the improbable.

But softball, like baseball, is a game of inches.

And Orting — not the Wolverines — grabbed the final Tri-District slot at State thanks to a run-scoring line drive in the sixth inning that sailed past the outstretched glove of Friday Harbor freshman Liz Taylor by an inch and shattered a 1-1 tie.

The Cowboys tallied two runs in the sixth, held the Wolverines scoreless in the seventh and final inning, and ousted Friday Harbor from post-season play with a dramatic 3-1 victory at Janicki Fields in Sedro-Woolley.

“It was a classic fast-pitch game,” Friday Harbor Head Coach Kevin Carlton said. “I’d say we really didn’t lose the game as much as we just ran out of time. We were just a click away from getting to state.”

Nooksack Valley took the tournament crown with a 4-0 victory over Chimacum in the Tri-District championship game. Cedar Park Christian, Chimacum and Orting also advanced to the 1A state tournament.

The Wolverines went down swinging. They disposed of Seattle Christian and Bellevue Christian in decisive fashion by capitalizing on their speed on the bases and prowess at the plate. They dispatched Seattle Christian 11-2 and throttled the Vikings 9-3 to earn a shot at Orting and a chance at State.

Junior Kerri Goff turned in a dominating three-game performance, while lead-off hitter Elle Guard set the tone at the plate and on the base paths by stealing home to give the Wolverines an early 1-0 advantage against Bellevue Christian.

“As she goes so goes our team,” Carlton said of Guard. “She’s our lead-off hitter and our spark plug. And Kerri pitched awesome.”

Despite the loss to Orting, the Wolverines (15-9) ended the season in style. They prevailed in five of their last six games, when a loss in any would’ve brought an end to their season. Friday Harbor will lose two players, seniors Kelsie Carlton and Brooke Jangard, to graduation.

“We really started playing our best ball there at the end and that’s really encouraging for next year,” Coach Carlton said.

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