Sehome’s goal of advancing to the second day of the State 2A softball tournament will have to wait another year.
The Mariners were eliminated Friday evening by Ellensburg, 6-1, to finish 1-2 in the event. It is the sixth trip to state in coach Jim Emerson’s 12 years.
Sehome showed incredible fortitude just advancing to meet Ellensburg on a scorching Central Washington day.
The Mariners led R.A. Long 11-7 in the seventh inning of their first consolation game but gave up a grand slam home run that tied the contest. Carissa McDowell slapped a two-run homer to pull the Mariners ahead and move them forward in the consolation bracket.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Bellingham Herald
In the opener against White River the Mariners were holding fast through four innings but the Hornets broke open a tight contest with a trio of two-out runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Kayla Smith and Jordanne Fray had back-to-back doubles -- Fray’s scored Smith -- and Megan Vandegrift lined a ball to the left center field fence that looked like a double until the tiny second baseman ran through the stop sign trying for a triple. Maddy Bryan’s throw to third base was high and off-line and Vandegrift didn’t break stride en route to the plate. The scramble for the errant throw temporarily left the plate uncovered and Vandegrift scored easily.
“Mal (Mallory Kuzich) had pitched really well up to that point,” Sehome coach Jim Emerson said with a weary smile. “Two out rallies like that really hurt. At that point one hit turns into three hits and pretty soon you’re struggling.”
Emerson gave White River pitcher Smith a lot of credit.
“She did a really good job of mixing things up,” Emerson said. “When knew she was the Pitcher of the Year in their league three years running. I guess that shows you what good pitching can do.
“We had a couple chances to get back in the game; she shut the door on us.”
The Mariners got their only run in the first inning on a fielder’s choice, a stolen base and an error. After that, Smith stranded five Mariners baserunners and faced just three batters in four of the remaining six innings.
Sehome gave up a game-tying grand slam in the bottom of the seventh to R.A. Long’s Hileigh Todd but Carissa McDowell kept the Mariners alive with a two-run homer in the 8th, allowing Sehome to advance in the consolation bracket with a 13-11 win over the Lumberjacks.
McDowell’s blast scored Gabby Gorosave who had opened the eighth inning with a single.
White River 4, Sehome 1
WP: Smith. LP: Mallory Kruzich.
Sehome 13, R.A. Long 11
WP: Mallory Kruzich. LP: Cathcart.
Ellensburg 6, Sehome 1
WP: Burgess. LP: Mallory Kruzich.