Kettle Falls opens District Tourney against Freeman

Loser-out openerKettle Falls High (11-7, 12-7) will host Freeman (4-14, 5-15) in the opening round (loser-out) of the Northeast A League District 7 1A softball tournament Tuesday at Kettle Falls. Game time is 4:30 p.m.If the Lady Bulldogs, who finished the regular season with a sweep of visiting Freeman last Friday, can avoid the upset, they’ll move on to NEA champion Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) on Saturday for the remainder of the tournament proper. In the other loser-out game on Tuesday, NEA No. 4 Medical Lake (7-11, 8-12) will host NEA No. 5 Chewelah (5-13, 6-14).Three of the four teams that survive to the Saturday round will move on to Bi-District against the Caribou-Trail League on May 18 at Brewster High School. The top four teams from Bi-District will qualify for the State 1A Tournament in Richland May 24-25. KFHS coach Amy Owens conceded on Sunday that she doesn’t care to look past Freeman on Tuesday.Freeman focus“I don’t like to look too far down the road,” Owens conceded. “We have to take it one game at a time. The tough part for us will be to not overlook Freeman. We have beaten them three times, but beating them three out of four means that we are done (for the season). “We have to be playing our best games at this time of the year. Focus will be the key.”Cashmere, like they are in baseball, is dominating the CTL softball standings. Chelan finished second behind the Bulldogs. Brewster was third.The first game at Lakeside High School on Saturday is scheduled for 11 a.m. The second game will go at 1 p.m. and game No. 3 is at 3 p.m.RECAPIt wasn’t pretty, but Kettle Falls edged Newport 10-9 back on April 30 in Pend Oreille County.Shortstop Emily Owens was 3-for-4 with seven RBIs for Kettle Falls. Kettle Falls led comfortably at 10-5 heading into the seventh inning behind senior pitcher Krislin McInelly. The Lady Bulldogs were sloppy defensively in the inning and Newport took advantage.“I was a little worried there for a minute,” Owens admitted. “Momentum is hard to stop in this game. Newport had it going their way, but the girls dug in and got it done.”On Friday at home during Senior Day festivities, Kettle Falls took care of business, sweeping Freeman 8-1, 9-2.KFHS played like they enjoyed the warm air and sunshine. With the pressure off and assured of the third seed to the District 7 1A Tournament this week, the Lady Bulldogs played some of their best softball of the season.Seniors shine“They played Kettle Falls softball and our seniors really came to play,” Owens said. McInelly picked up the wins, scattering eight hits in the two games. She tossed a three-hitter in the opener.Kettle Falls was solid behind the senior in the circle, committing only one error in the first game and two in the second. McInelly helped her own cause at the plate, going 4-for-4 in the first game (three doubles). She also doubled in the game two win.Kourtney Keenan and Owens had a pair of hits in the first game. Kayla Fowler also hit safely.In game two, KFHS plated eight of their nine runs in the second inning to blow the game open.