Lynden’s hopes for a Class 2A state softball title were rudely derailed by Woodland’s Haylee Michaud on Friday afternoon at Carlon Park.
Michaud drove in two runs with a two-out line single into right field rallying the Beavers to advance to the semifinals with a 3-2 win over the Lions.
Lynden, which led Woodland 2-1 going into the bottom of the seventh despite being outhit 6-2, had to immediately come back and play a loser out game against Orting. The stunned Lions lost that contest, 6-1. That loss ended Lynden’s season.
The Lions entered the tourney 22-1 and full of confidence that last year’s third place finish was a stepping stone to a state title game appearance this season.
Lynden opened the tournament by threading together two of softball’s least likely occurences -- a no hitter and a 10-run rule ending -- to drop the Olympic 10-0.
Jenna Bonsen had a home run, a double and two singles -- driving in four runs including the game ender in the bottom of the sixth -- to power Lynden’s offense.
Bonsen started the Lynden scoring with a line shot homer to leftcenter field in the second inning -- scoring Hannah Rothwell who led the inning off with a line double to the centerfield fence.
Bonsen ended the contest with a sharp single, again scoring Rothwell.
Senior hurler Tanna Benson topped that with a circular masterpiece, striking out seven and facing just three batters over the minimum.
Benson had to work out of trouble in the first inning after a walk and a one-out error. She responded with consecutive strikeouts and
It was a startling display of both power and pitching to contact for Benson.
“I generally try to get strike outs,” Benson said while flashing a huge smile in the 80-degree late morning heat. “But I knew my defense had my back either way. That let me do what I needed to do depending on the situation and the hitter.”
Lynden coach Steve Petersen said he was surprised by the no hitter.
“We did a really good job of shutting them down after we got in trouble in the first inning,” Petersen said. “When we got out of that mess with no damage I thought we would be OK.”
Olympic pitcher Whitney Villalobos wasn’t fooling any of Lynden’s hitters with her limited repertoire. The Lions sprayed the ball all over the ballpark and some of the Trojans’ best defensive plays seemed to almost be in self defense.
On the game the Lions had 12 hits.
Lynden faced Woodland in the state quarterfinal and lost 3-2 after the Beavers were able to knock in two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
“It was a tough, good high school softball game,” Petersen said. “The pitcher kept us off balance. They got big hits in the bottom of the seventh (inning).”
Tanna Benson led the Lions at the plate with a 2 for 2 performance to go with two RBI.
The Lions played their next game against Orting in the consolation bracket. Orting came out in the bottom of the third and scored four runs to go ahead 5-1 and never looked back. Lynden lost the game 6-1 and saw its season end.
“It’s tough to come back after a walk-off loss,” Petersen said. “We hung in there as long as we could.”
Lynden ends the season with a school record in wins to go along with Northwest Conference and District champions.
“The loss doesn’t diminish what this group has accomplished,” Petersen said. “Those things are forever.”
Lynden 10, Olympic 0 (6)
WP: Tanna Benson. LP: Villalobos.
Woodland 3, Lynden 2
WP: Michaud. LP: Tanna Benson. Highlights: Lynden: Tanna Benson 2-2, RBI.
Orting 6, Lynden 1
WP: No information provided. LP: Tanna Benson. Highlights: Tanna Benson 1-3, 2B; Hannah Rothwell 1-3, RBI.