By Scott Rasmussen
Down by four runs. Just one out left in the final inning.
The Wolverines chances of claiming the top slot at the regional Tri-District tournament looked all but dead and gone.
But then sophomore Asleigh Brown stepped up to the plate.
With two outs and nobody on, Brown smacked a sharply hit single that ignited a back-against-the-wall rally and after the dust had settled, the Friday Harbor softball team had pulled off the improbable, scoring five runs in their final at-bat to seal a 7-6 victory in the championship bout of the District 1 playoffs, Saturday, in Mount Vernon.
Left fielder Margaret Nash, who put Friday Harbor on the scoreboard with a 2-run homer earlier in the contest, delivered the game-winning hit with a high fly ball to center field that the Pioneers couldn’t corral.
With the win, the Wolverines clinched the No. 1 seed at Tri-Districts, which begin this Saturday at Janicki Fields in Sedro Woolley, and with it grabbed the upper in the team’s quest for a first-ever berth in the state 1A fast-pitch tournament.
“This team doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit,” Coach Kevin Carlton said. “Five runs with two outs and nobody on, they just started putting the hits together.”
Carlton credits the Wolverines’ effort in the field for holding Nooksack Valley scoreless over the final three innings and for giving themselves a chance to slug their way back into the game.
“Our defense just shut them down,” he said.
The Wolverines dispatched Coupeville in a 7-3 win earlier in the day to advance to the District 1 title game against Nooksack Valley.
As the Tri-District No. 1 seed, Friday Harbor will open the regional tournament against Seattle Christian, Saturday, beginning at noon. The team will need two wins at that tournament to punch its first-ever appearance at State.