By Oly Archibald
Friday Harbor Tiny Radio
You know you have a good thing going when you have just cashed your ticket to the WIAA State Fastpitch tournament in Yakima for the fourth time in four years yet there is no outlandish celebration with shooting Sparkling Apple Cider all over each other. Not that the Young Friday Harbor Wolverine Fastpitch team was not happy and proud of their accomplishment; it’s just now the expectations of the program.
The Wolverines beat Orcas Island 15-5 to win their fourth straight NW 2-B District Tournament. It was the fourth time this year the Wolverines had beat the Vikings and now have won 14 straight games in the rivalry since Brian Lambright took over the program five years ago.
Lambright now has a 76-42 career record at Friday Harbor, a record that would make Heather Tarr proud.
Against the Vikings, the Wolverines used the perfect combination of wise, old veterans and wide-eyed freckled faced youngsters. The Hoffman Sisters — Savannah the senior and Ava the junior along with the speedster junior CF Thea Seitz combined for 7 hits and 6 runs. Freshman Darcy Ayers and Bristol Halvorson combined for 4 hits and 5 runs.
Halvorson, a former cheerleader, on this day, traded in her face sparkles and nail polish for half the dirt from Janicki Park which had collected on her jersey head to toe as she grinned from ear to ear while she was being interviewed on the Tiny Radio 1650 AM post game show. Halvorson talked about the love she has for her team and the fact she plays club ball all summer all over the Northwest and Canada. Then there is the Wolverines tough-as-nails third baseman sophomore Bailee Lambright. Late in the game, Bailee Lambright went crashing into the fence of the Orcas dug out.
Now it’s onto bigger and better things: Its the WIAA State tournament at the Gateway sports complex in Yakima — the On Broadway Show for the best fastpitch teams in the state. The Wolverines (15-7) open up the tournament Friday morning against the Ocosta Wildcats (19-6) of the feared District 4; the toughest division next to the old black-and-blue division of the 1970s NFL Central.
The Wolverines will be underdogs, already losing to the wildcats two weeks ago in Mount Vernon. So what are the expectations for this young Wolverines team that has only two seniors on the squad? Just making it to the state tournament is already a major accomplishment. The Wolverines do have a shot at going 2-2, like they did in last year’s tournament. That would be big time considering how young this team is. Brian Lambright and his coaching staff have made believers out of their team. Their never-give-up-the-ship persona and their more-grit-than-glitter team attitude just might find the Wolverines in the semis on Saturday afternoon. If that were to happen, the Tree Top plant in Selah would not have near enough sparkling cider for the Wolverines’ celebration.
Wolverines bites and notes:
In state tournament play the Wolverines are 1-6 against teams from District 4. The Wolverines did beat Hoquiam when the Wolverines where a class A team.
Orcas Island, who plays state power Pe Ell/Willapa Valley, is 0-7 against District 4 teams in state tournament history. The Friday Harbor-Ocosta game starts at 11 a.m. The game will broadcast live on Tiny Radio 1650 AM and on the web at fhtinyradio.com. The pregame show starts at 10:45 a.m. Oly Archibald and former Wolverine Hannah Hopkins will have the live play-by-play. Archibald and Hopkins will broadcast the 9 a.m. game between Orcas Island and Pe Ell/Willapa Valley on KMNT 104.3 FM Centralia and on the web at KMNT.com. Archibald and Hopkins will cover seven teams for four different radio stations.