EVERSON - Lynden softball ace Brooke Bonsen knows how to make up for a sub-par day in the circle.
She suffered her second loss of the season exactly one month ago during a non-conference game against Nooksack Valley at Lynden High School.
She's won eight straight and has been rolling ever since. Bonsen redeemed herself in a big way against the last team she lost to during a sunny Tuesday, April 16, at Nooksack Valley Middle School.
Bonsen tossed a six-inning, complete-game shutout to lead Lynden to a 12-0 Northwest Conference win against the Pioneers, helping the Lions avenge a five-run loss to Nooksack Valley.
"Last time we played them, we kind of came out from under," Bonsen said, "so this game we were kind of out for revenge. We wanted to come out with intensity, and we really wanted to win this game."
Bonsen, who struck out four and didn't give up a walk, would have thrown a no-hitter if it wasn't for a clean single up the middle off the bat of Nooksack Valley's Haley Hunt in the bottom of the third.
Bonsen said "the whole way here I was just focused on making good pitches and making them work for it." She did just that. Bonsen hit her spots and kept batters off-balance all game with her off-speed pitches.
"I thought early in the game, she was able to throw her changeup for a strike, and now you're thinking about it," Lynden coach Steve Petersen said. "With a team like Nooksack, as well as they swing the bat, you have to keep them off-balance."
Bonsen's only given up one run during her last four starts. Lynden (8-3, 5-0 NWC) has faced Bellingham, Squalicum, Burlington-Edison and Nooksack Valley during the span.
Bonsen helped herself at the plate, too, going 4 for 4 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored, and Lynden put together 14 hits against Nooksack Valley's pitching duo of Kayla Struiksma and Alexis Pike.
Lynden's Destinee Matter, Trisha Snydar, Taylor VanDalen and Mandy Warner each recorded multi-hit games.
The Lions fell behind early during their first game against Nooksack Valley (7-4, 3-2 NWC) and were forced to play catch up. Nooksack Valley was the team in the deep, early hole this time.
Lynden scored two runs in the top of the first and added five more, sparked by a Snydar two-run single, in the top of the second. The Lions put together seven runs on six hits off Struiksma during the first two innings before Pike entered the third and cooled off Lynden's hot bats.
"It was really good," said Bonsen of Lynden's early lead. "We started off really focused, and I feel like Mandy (Warner) starting off (the game) with a double was really good."
The Pioneers offense didn't show much resemblance of the club that outscored Chelan and Omak 32-8 last weekend or the team who beat Mount Baker 14-11 during their most recent NWC game.
Nooksack Valley only sent 19 players to the plate during the six-inning contest.
"You got to be on your A game to hit her well," Nooksack Valley coach Tom Harmon said of Bonsen.
The Pioneers weren't their typical power-hitting selves, but Harmon pointed mostly to Nooksack Valley's inability to record should-be outs for the double-digit loss.
"We have to take advantage of when we get an out and take it," he said. "We had a couple balls we need to get outs on, and when you play a team like that, the upper-tier teams in our league, and you give them more than three outs, you're going to pay, and we paid today."
Pike gave Nooksack Valley a lift in the circle during the middle innings, giving up two runs on five hits during her three innings of work.
But the Lions pushed their lead to 12-0 with a three-run sixth inning thanks to a Matter RBI single, her second of the game, and a two-run error by Nooksack Valley's center fielder off the bat of Jenna Bonsen.
Brooke retired the Pioneers in order with back-to-back strikeouts in the bottom of the sixth to seal the win.
"Anytime you win a NWC game you're happy, especially when you do it against the quality of Nooksack," Petersen said.
Lynden hosts Anacortes next at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 17. It's the second of three straight games in as many days. Nooksack Valley travels to play Ferndale next at 4 p.m. Friday, April 19.
Reach Andrew Lang at email@example.com or call 360-756-2862.
LYNDEN 12, NOOKSACK VALLEY 0 (6)
Lynden 250 113 - 12 14 0
Nooksack Valley 000 000 - 0 1 4
WP: Brooke Bonsen (8-2). LP: Kayla Struiksma. Highlights: Lynden: Brooke Bonsen 4-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R; Destinee Matter 2-4, 2 RBI; Trisha Snydar 2-4, 2 RBI, 2 R; Taylor VanDalen 2-4, RBI, R; Mandy Warner 2-4, 2B, 3 R. Nooksack Valley: Haley Hunt 1-2, SB.
Reach ANDREW LANG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 862.