Kettle Falls High, making its first State softball tournament appearance since 2007, finÂŹished with a 1-2 record at last Friday and Saturdayâs Class 2B Tournament at Gateway Sports Complex in Yakima.
The Lady Bulldogs (20-4) outscored LaConner 13-10 in their Friday morning opener before falling 10-0 (five innings) to Mossyrock on Friday eveÂŹning.
In a loser-out game Saturday morning, Kettle Falls dropped a tough 7-6 decision to Toutle Lake.
âIt wasnât what we were looking for,â KFHS head coach Amy Owens said of her teamâs goals at State. âWe just didnât play like we have all season. Our lack of experience at the State level, me included, hurt us. There were some things I could have done to get us betÂŹter prepared.â
Short game issues
One thing first year coach Owens laments is the fact that the short game, so integral in the game of softball, caused Kettleâs defense problems at times in Yakima.
There was plenty of bunting and slap hitting going on in Yakima.
âWe didnât see the short game that much during the season,â Owens said. âThat hurt us.â
Be rest assured that Owens will have that issue remedied next season.
âWe were more of a power hitting team this spring,â she said. âWe have six seniors and we lose a lot of that off this team. This is a great time to take advantage of what we learned at State âŠitâs a good time to change our game up a little.â
In the opener against LaÂŹConner, Kettle Falls built a comfortable 11-1 lead into the fifth inning. But LaConner got back into the game with a seven run outburst in the fifth inning. Kettle Falls committed two errors in the fifth that didnât help.
Senior Tory Bircher, who played solidly in Kettleâs three games at State, had a double, a single and a home run against LaConner. She drove in three runs.
Kettle Falls scored seven runs of their own in the fourth inning. Bircherâs home run was the big blow.
Senior Devon Stomley had a pair of doubles.
Kettle Falls had four doubles and a home run in the win.
Mossyrock breaks open scoreless game
Bircher picked up the win. She got relief help in the fifth from Krislin McInelly, who struggled. McInelly surrenÂŹdered seven hits and walked three. She struck out two.
Bircher scattered three hits, issued a walk and struck out three.
Kettle Falls and Mossyrock were locked up in a 0-0 tie unÂŹtil the Lady Bulldogs surrenÂŹdered 10 runs in the MossyÂŹrock fourth inning. Five walks and four errors in the fourth inning contributed to the big Mossyrock inning.
A first inning double by Kayla Eslick and Sara Larsenâs single in the fifth inning was all the offense KFHS could musÂŹter.
âThere wasnât much to say about that,â Owens said. âThat was a really bad inning for us.â
It didnât help Kettleâs chances any when Stomley broke her collarbone sliding head first into second base against Toutle Lake.
When Stomley went out, KFHS and the Ducks were tied at 4-all.
Bircherâs triple earlier helped the Lady Bulldogs to an early lead. She had two triples in the game. McInelly also tripled in Kettleâs five-hit attack.
âThat was a very tough loss,â Owens said. âWe lost one of our players, but we were able to battle. I was proud of them for their ability to keep their heads up and stay positive.â
Down 7-6 in the seventh, KFHS got Bircher to second base. But the Lady Bulldogs couldnât get her home.
Owens said she will miss her six seniorsâBircher, Stomley, Sam Charlton, Michaela Fredrick, Kayla Eslick and Sara Larsen.
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âReplacing six seniors wonât be easy,â she said. âThey are great athletes who did a very good job in leadership roles this season.
âBut for the kids coming back, I think some eyes were opened (about the State experiÂŹence). It was a good run and a very good season.â
Adna routed Pe Ell to win its second state 2B fastpitch title in three years. Adna used a pair of big innings to beat the defending champions, 10-0 on Saturday.
Adna broke a scoreless tie with a six-run fourth inning. They added a four-run fifth inÂŹning and the rout was on.