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Wolverines rally to clinch 9-8 win over South Whidbey | Fastpitch softball

Freshman Jean Melborne collected win No. 1 of her high school career with two innings of solid relief as the Wolverines edged by South Whidbey in a 9-8 victory Wednesday at home.  - Scott Rasmussen
Freshman Jean Melborne collected win No. 1 of her high school career with two innings of solid relief as the Wolverines edged by South Whidbey in a 9-8 victory Wednesday at home.
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen

Chalk one up to the ferry schedule.

The Friday Harbor softball team broke out the bats to overcome a subpar performance in the field and notched a narrow 9-8 victory Thursday at home over South Whidbey in six innings.

The Wolverines also got a big assist from travel constraints of the visiting team.

With the Falcons trailing by a run and Friday Harbor -- with one out and three runners on -- threatening to add to their lead, South Whidbey Coach Don Wood threw in the towel before the team's final at-bat to ensure that the squad could catch a ferry for the trip back home. The teams had battled for nearly two-and-a-half-hours at the point Wood was forced to concede.

Head Coach Kevin Carlton said a tightly-contested game against a quality team like the Falcons is exactly what the Wolverines need at this point of the season, even if it wasn't a thing of beauty. Getting the win was a bonus, he said.

"That's frosting on the cake," Carlton said of the victory, the team's third in a row. "Being in a tight game like that did us so much good. You have to play in games like that -- when it's tight and the action is intense -- to get ready for the Lynden Christians and the Nooksack Valleys and when competition in our league gets tough."

With the win, the Wolverines improved to 3-1 overall.

In the third inning, senior Kerri Goff stroked a three-run homer that put the Wolverines out in front 5-1. The Falcons battled back and tallied three runs in the fourth to stay within striking distance. Friday Harbor added a run in the fourth and another in the fifth, and led 7-4 going into the top of the sixth inning.

In the fifth inning, freshman Jean Melborne pitched the Wolverines out of a jam after taking over on the mound for Goff, who walked the first two batters she faced. But the Wolverines left the door wide open in the sixth by committing four errors and South Whidbey turned those miscues and a timely base hit into four runs and an 8-7 advantage.

Though shaky on the mound, Goff was clutch at the plate. She belted a hard grounder that drove in Maggie Andersen, who led off the sixth with a walk, to knot the score at eight runs apiece. The Wolverines then loaded the bases and Lola Elford crossed the plate with what proved to be the game-winning run as Elle Guard drew a walk.

Next

The Wolverines are on the road Saturday at Lynden Christian; game time is noon.

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