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Wildcat softball punches another ticket to districts; road to state may be very tough
The Mount Si softball team had a great showing on home turf in last week’s Kingco Tournament.
But the great result may have actually hurt their state tournament dreams.
The Wildcats took second after falling 8-4 to Juanita last Friday, May 14, in the league title game. Mount Si had made the title contest after stunning Bellevue in a nine-inning thriller, 6-5.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” said a happy Wildcat coach Larry White.
The ‘Cats opened scoring in the first with a home run by sophomore Maura Murphy.
“I knew coming into this game (that) we hadn’t played as well against them,” Murphy said. “I was just ready to go.”
She reached base safely all four times she batted in the game, but had to overcome a scare after a ball she was attempting to field hit her in the face, creating some brief concern for the Wildcats. Murphy, who was out with a concussion earlier this season, ended up with just a black eye, and was ready to play in the title game.
“I was so ready to come out and play after beating Bellevue in that really tight game,” Murphy said. “It just really gets your energy up.”
Juanita scored four runs in the third off Mount Si starter Alex Johnson to blow the game open, and despite a three run fourth by the Wildcats, the Rebels were able to shut down the Mount Si bats behind solid relief pitching from Allison Rhodes. The sophomore lefthander struck out six in three innings of work, only giving up two seventh-inning hits. Danielle Massengill had two hits, including a double, and Anisa Wingsness had an RBI single in the fourth to key the Mount Si offensive efforts in that frame.
Against Bellevue, Murphy’s single in the ninth scored Sara Rice with what turned out to be the winning run. She threw out Anjani Briggs at first on a ground ball for the final out with the bases loaded to seal the win for the Wildcats.
Last Wednesday, Mount Si scored eight runs in the third and seven more in the fourth, and that was more than enough for Johnson, who overcame a slow start in the first inning and dominated en route to a surprisingly easy 15-1 shellacking of the Liberty Patriots to clinch a return trip to districts. Brielle Buhner led the way, going 3-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. All Mount Si starters scored at least one run, with six of them scoring twice.
“We finally got to see what we’ve been waiting for all year,” White said. “Maybe we just needed this nice sunny weather.”
The second place finish in normal circumstances should mean a good run through the district tournament, but a key upset in the Metro tournament has made it a much different story. The Wildcats, if they want to make state, may have to go through both Bainbridge and Holy Names to get there. Both teams have been among the best teams in the state all season.
Games are Thursday and Friday, May 20 and 21, at a site to be determined, either Mercer Island or Seattle.