Ferndale softball’s leadoff hitter Dana Ebe does not look like the typical power hitter. With a slight frame that stands just over 5-feet tall, Ebe seems more like a slap hitter than a big bomber.
On Tuesday, May 19, at Phil Johnson Fields, she showed why pitchers should take her seriously, though.
The sophomore went 5 for 8 with three doubles and a home run in the Golden Eagles two Class 3A Northwest District Tournament games Tuesday.
“I just had a lot of confidence and was just really mentally prepared,” Ebe said. “Softball is a game where anybody can hit.”
The performance by Ebe helped Ferndale to a 10-1 win over Edmonds-Woodway in the opening round and gave No. 1-seeded Everett a run for its money in a 4-3 loss in the district semifinal.
With the No. 4-seed Golden Eagles splitting their games, they’ll have to win two games on Thursday, May 21, starting with No. 6-seed Lynnwood.
“She’s pretty quick and fun to watch as our leadoff batter,” Ferndale coach Holly Hilton said. “She can make things happen for us.”
Down 4-0 against Everett, Ebe led off the fifth inning with a single up the middle and it sparked a rally, in which the Golden Eagles scored three runs.
The first to follow Ebe was Scarlett Nyenhuis, whose bunt was far enough from the third baseman and catcher to put her on base. Abigail Bauthues walked and then Drew Westford’s single up the middle scored Ebe.
Kadence Kane’s rip over the third baseman’s head scored two more and suddenly it was a ballgame.
Unfortunately for Ferndale, Everett brought in a new pitcher, who retired six in a row before Bauthues’ leadoff double in the top of the seventh.
Only down a run, it appeared Ferndale was on the cusp of upsetting the Seagulls, or at least send it to extras, but a flyout to right by Westford, a popup to second base by Kane and a groundout to short by Gabby Edison ended the game.
“We had their first pitcher timed up and knocked her out of the game so it took another inning to get used to the new pitcher,” Hilton said. “We just ran out of game.”
The Golden Eagles left 10 runners stranded during the game.
“I think we just got a little bit of a late start adjusting to Everett,” Hilton said. “We had several opportunities and we left runners on base and just were not able to string the hits together and execute.”
Aside from allowing a three-run homer in the third, pitcher Lauren Maley was just shy of brilliant on the day.
She struck out 21 between the two games and allowed just 13 hits through14 innings in the circle.
“She threw her heart out pitching two games back to back,” Hilton said. “That’s what she’s been training for. We just didn’t have the hits to back her up.”
Ferndale’s struggles at the plate against Everett were a stark difference from the first game, when the Golden Eagles jumped up early, scoring eight runs in the first three innings.
Bauthues’ three-run homer in the first inning of that game got things started and Ebe’s homer in the third continued the run. Bauthues ended the day 5 for 7 with four RBI and three runs scored. Kane was another standout on the day, as she went 2 for 6 with three RBI.
Still, a split on the first day means Ferndale has to win two games, as the Golden Eagles try to advance to their second state tournament in school fastpitch history and their second consecutive appearance.
“I just think we need to keep playing our game. It was a one-run game and we were with them the whole way; it just didn’t fall on our side,” Hilton said. “Thursday, we need to play our game and hit the ball.”
Thursday play begins at 4 p.m. at Phil Johnson Fields.
Ferndale 10, Edmonds-Woodway 1
WP: Lauren Maley. LP: Woolery. Highlights: Ferndale: Dana Ebe 3-4, HR, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 4 R; Abigail Bauthues 4-4, 4 RBI, 2 R, HR; Scarlett Nyenhuis 1-3, 2 R; Drew Westford 1-2, 2B, RBI, R; Kadence Kane 1-2, SB, RBI; Sydney Shawler 1-2, RBI, R. Edmonds-Woodway: Cooper 1-3, R; Jones 2-3, 2B, RBI.
Everett 4, Ferndale 3
WP: Taggart. LP: Maley. Highlights: Everett: Formon-Hayes 2-3, R, 3 RBI, HR; M. Gordon 2-3, 3B, R; Christensen 1-3, RBI; Koehler 1-3, SB; Phan 1-2, R. Ferndale: Dana Ebe 2-3, 2B, R; Scarlett Nyenhuis 1-3, R; Abigail Bauthues 1-3, 2B, R; Drew Westford 1-4, RBI, R; Kadence Kane 1-4, 2 RBI, R; Amanda Baker 2-3.