Two infield errors in the final inning of the Class 3A District 1 Tournament’s third-place game are all that separated Ferndale’s softball team from a trip to state.
After leading 5-4 coming into the top of the seventh, the Golden Eagles put the second and third batters of the inning on via error. A groundout followed, and Ferndale was one out away from state. But Edmonds-Woodway’s Taylor Jones rocketed a grounder through the right side of the infield to score both runners and give the Warriors the 6-5 lead for good.
Ferndale’s Amanda Baker, Gabby Edison and pitcher Lauren Maley were unable to get a hit off of the Warriors’ closer, Mariah Woolery, and the Golden Eagles were eliminated.
“I thought they played their hearts out,” Ferndale coach Holly Hilton said. “It’s unfortunate that we didn’t come up with the hits when we needed them and come up with the defensive plays.”
Maley started both of the Golden Eagles games on Thursday, May 21, at Phil Johnson Ballfields, in Everett, and was steady throughout. She finished the day with nine strikeouts in 11 innings with five walks and 15 hits.
The senior ace needed an inning to get started, but rewarded her coach’s confidence in keeping her in the circle.
Maley walked three of the first four batters she faced before coming back with a three-pitch strikeout in Ferndale’s consolation second round matchup with Lynnwood.
The next batter battled through eight pitches before singling in a pair of runs. She again came back and struck out two of the next three to limit the early damage to four runs for the Royals.
The Saint Martin’s University-bound Maley returned to the circle appearing unshaken in the second inning. She needed only 10 pitches to get through the second, and even earned a strikeout to end the inning.
After that she was all settled in, and showed it by retiring the side with a strikout and a pair of groundouts in the third.
Ferndale rallied in the bottom of the second thanks to nine walks issued by Lynnwood starter Dasia Lester in the inning. The inning reached a climax when Lester walked the bases loaded on 13 pitches and Abigail Bauthues launched a grand slam to dead center on the very next pitch.
“When you’re ahead, like we were in the first game, you don’t need to play small,” Hilton said.
The Golden Eagles were able to cruise through the rest of the game, ending it early for a 20-7 win in five innings.
Thirty minutes later, Ferndale was looking as unstoppable as it had in the first game, thanks to a first-inning rally for three runs. Drew Westford doubled in a run from the cleanup spot, and Baker earned a pair of RBI on a controversial play.
Baker lined a pitch to first base with Westford on second and Bauthues on third. Edmonds-Woodway’s Jones grabbed the liner and threw the ball home just too late to catch Westford sliding in. The Warriors argued that Westford hadn’t tagged up and should have been out anyway when she tried to run back across the infield to second after scoring, but the run was upheld.
Maley made sure the Golden Eagles held the lead, striking out at least one batter in each of the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Edmonds-Woodway still managed to slip four runs across in the fifth to tie it going into the sixth.
“Lauren did a fantastic job in the circle,” Hilton said. “I’ve seen how hard she worked at her game. She worked incredibly hard in the weight room in the offseason. She is improving on her craft all the time. She has a huge heart and believes in herself.”
In that fifth, Ferndale retook the lead 5-4 after Dana Ebe singled and Scarlett Nyenhuis and Bauthues walked to load the bases with one out. Westford again came through with a big hit, launching a deep fly ball to center to score Ebe on the sacrifice. But the rest of the offense was unable to finish the job in the final frame.
Ferndale graduates Maley, Bauthues, Kadence Kane, Nyenhuis and Sydney Shawler.
“My seniors worked really hard and have done a really good job,” Hilton said. “They put in a lot of time and effort into their game. It’s been a joy to coach them the last four years. I’m going to miss them.”
Ferndale 20, Lynnwood 7
WP: Lauren Maley. LP: Dasia Lester. Highlights: Ferndale: Drew Westford 4-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2b; Abigail Bauthues 1-4, R, 4 RBI, HR; Gabby Edison 3-3 4 R, 4 RBI, HR, 2 2b, BB. Lynnwood: Maddie Morgan 2-3, 2 R, RBI, BB; Desiree Graham 1-2, 2 R, RBI, BB.
Edmonds-Woodway 6, Ferndale 5
WP: Kyra Collingridge. LP: Lauren Maley. S: Mariah Woolery. Highlights: Ferndale: Drew Westford 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 2b; Amanda Baker 0-3, 2 RBI, BB; Gabby Edison 1-3, RBI, BB. Edmonds-Woodway: Taylor Jones 2-4, 4 RBI, 2b; Samone Jackson 2-3, 2 R, RBI; Jackie Lovelace 1-3, 2 R, RBI.
List of Ferndale's seniors updated on May 22, 2015.