Kettle Falls High, making its first State softball tournament appearance since 2007, finÂ¬ished with a 1-2 record at last Friday and Saturdayâ€™s 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 eveÂ¬ning.
In a loser-out game Saturday morning, Kettle Falls dropped a tough 7-6 decision to Toutle Lake.
â€śIt wasnâ€™t what we were looking for,â€ť KFHS head coach Amy Owens said of her teamâ€™s goals at State. â€śWe just didnâ€™t 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 betÂ¬ter prepared.â€ť
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 Kettleâ€™s defense problems at times in Yakima.
There was plenty of bunting and slap hitting going on in Yakima.
â€śWe didnâ€™t see the short game that much during the season,â€ť Owens said. â€śThat hurt us.â€ť
Be rest assured that Owens will have that issue remedied next season.
â€śWe were more of a power hitting team this spring,â€ť she said. â€śWe 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 â€¦itâ€™s a good time to change our game up a little.â€ť
In the opener against LaÂ¬Conner, 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 didnâ€™t help.
Senior Tory Bircher, who played solidly in Kettleâ€™s 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. Bircherâ€™s 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 surrenÂ¬dered 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 unÂ¬til the Lady Bulldogs surrenÂ¬dered 10 runs in the MossyÂ¬rock 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 Larsenâ€™s single in the fifth inning was all the offense KFHS could musÂ¬ter.
â€śThere wasnâ€™t much to say about that,â€ť Owens said. â€śThat was a really bad inning for us.â€ť
It didnâ€™t help Kettleâ€™s 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.
Bircherâ€™s triple earlier helped the Lady Bulldogs to an early lead. She had two triples in the game. McInelly also tripled in Kettleâ€™s five-hit attack.
â€śThat was a very tough loss,â€ť Owens said. â€śWe 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€ť
Down 7-6 in the seventh, KFHS got Bircher to second base. But the Lady Bulldogs couldnâ€™t get her home.
Owens said she will miss her six seniorsâ€”Bircher, Stomley, Sam Charlton, Michaela Fredrick, Kayla Eslick and Sara Larsen.
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â€śReplacing six seniors wonâ€™t be easy,â€ť she said. â€śThey are great athletes who did a very good job in leadership roles this season.
â€śBut for the kids coming back, I think some eyes were opened (about the State experiÂ¬ence). It was a good run and a very good season.â€ť
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 inÂ¬ning and the rout was on.