Friday Harbor wins Tri-District crown, clinches first-ever berth at State | Softball

  • Tue May 24th, 2011 5:13pm
  • Sports
Friday Harbor leadoff hitter Elle Guard takes a cut at the plate in the Wolverines regular-season home finale

Friday Harbor leadoff hitter Elle Guard takes a cut at the plate in the Wolverines regular-season home finale

Forget for a moment that the Friday Harbor softball team tallied three wins in three games to clinch its first-appearance at the Division 1A state fast-pitch softabll tournament.

And consider how they did it, instead.

“We are on a stinking roll right now,” Coach Kevin Carlton said. “Every facet of our game (Saturday) was good.”

A roll? More like a cyclone.

The Wolverines unleashed a perfect storm both at the plate and in the field to outmuscle three consecutive opponents at the Tri-District playoffs, Saturday, in Mount Vernon.

At the plate, they ripped base hit after base hit over 21 innings of play and outscored three consecutive opponents by a combined total of 40-4 en route to claiming their first-ever Tri-District crown.

After dispatching Seattle Christian  11-0 in the opener, they throtteld Chimacum 18-3 for good measure, but saved their best perhaps for last. Just one week after scoring five runs in their final at-bat to squeak past Nooksack Valley in the District 1 regional title game, they dismantled the same Pioneer squad in the Tri-District championship game by a score of 11-1.

In the field, Friday Harbor proved equally impressive. They gave up just four runs in three games of playoff caliber competion.

“Elle Guard had a career day at third, a diving catch here and a lunging backhand there, and Hannah Starr ate up just about everything that was hit to her at shortstop,” Carlton said.  “And Jean isn’t just throwing strikes, she’s throwing quality strikes.”

Still, Carlton expects that the Wolverines will have a tough task on their hands in their State tournament opener, Friday, beginning at noon at Spokane’s Franklin Field. They face a seasoned squad from Hoquiam High School that finished fourth at the Division 2A state fast-picth tournament just a year ago, and which dropped down to the state’s 1A division this season.

“Frankly, at this stage of the game everyone is good,” Carlton said. “We’re just going to go over there and have some fun.”