With a young, inexperienced team and trying to build a winning softball tradition at Bellingham, coach Rick Ellis prefers to look for "baby steps" that his team is improving.
Even though the Red Raiders were swept by La Conner in a non-conference doubleheader by 18-6 and 22-1 scores on Saturday, March 23, Ellis was able to find his positives.
"We gave up 25 unearned runs and 20 plus runs with two outs," he said in a phone interview. "We're getting closer. We're getting two outs and then making mental mistakes or physical mistakes and letting teams continue innings. Now we've got to figure out how to end the inning. We're learning on the job with these kids."
Ellis also was encouraged by the six runs his team put on the board in the bottom of the fifth of the first game, as he said "it was a good sign that the kids didn't give up."
Julia Latimer went a combined 2 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI in the games, while Vanja Flones went 2 for 5 with a double and two RBI.
Bellingham next hosts Lynden on Tuesday, March 26, in a non-conference game.
LA CONNER 18, BELLINGHAM 6
La Conner 057 42 - 18 16 0
Bellingham 000 06 - 6 5 6
WP: Hedlund. LP: Katie Hinkley (0-4). Highlights: Bellingham: Julia Latimer 1-2, R, RBI; Vanja Flones 1-3, 2 RBI; Jessica Braaten 1-1, 2B; Emma Much 1-2, RBI; Paige Jacobsen 1-2, RBI.
LA CONNER 22, BELLINGHAM 1
La Conner 349 42 - 22 24 1
Bellingham 000 10 - 1 2 6
WP: Hedlund. LP: Amaya Johnson (0-1). Highlights: Bellingham: Julia Latimer 1-2, R; Vanja Flones 1-2, 2B, RBI.