Prep Baseball & Softball

Game-ending highlight catch leads Sehome past Granite Falls

BY MICHELLE NOLAN

For The Bellingham Herald

Sehome's Tori McDowell robs a 3-run home run to win a game 12-11 against Granite Falls on Wednesday, May 18, in Sedro-Woolley.
Sehome's Tori McDowell robs a 3-run home run to win a game 12-11 against Granite Falls on Wednesday, May 18, in Sedro-Woolley. eabell@bhamherald.com

If ever a high school softball catch deserved to be on ESPN’s “Plays of the Week,” it was Sehome center fielder Tori McDowell’s game-ending grab.

After all, Sehome coach Jim Emerson, who has enjoyed plenty of success, said it was the play of his 13-year career.

McDowell had just made a game-saving grab with two runners on base and one out in the bottom of the last inning. She then turned in an almost unbelievable leaping -- and legal -- catch before tumbling through the plastic fence in dead center.

The catch, with twin sister Carissa McDowell gaining the win with three gutty innings of relief, preserved Sehome’s 12-11 opening round win over Granite Falls in the opening round of the Class 2A Northwest District Tournament on Wednesday, May 18, at Janicki Fields. The Mariners hit five home runs -- two apiece by the McDowell twins and one by Rebekah Miksovsky.

Carissa McDowell’s homer tied it at 11-11 in the sixth and Tori McDowell’s homer was the winning run.

“I’ve never seen a catch like that,” Emerson said. “And we’ve never had a game at Sehome with five homers.”

Sehome’s 8-6 loss to Northwest Conference champion Sedro-Woolley (18-4) in steady rain in the second round dropped the Mariners (18-4) into the consolation bracket, where they will face Lynden (16-6) Friday in a loser-out game. Samantha Hruby’s three-run double in the last inning, after hits by Megan Hall, Carissa McDowell and Miksovsky, left Sehome just short against freshman ace Nicole Wright. Tori McDowell tripled and doubled for the Mariners.

LYNDEN HANGS IN

Lynden fell to Archbishop Murphy 13-5 in the opening round, despite two homers and five RBIs by Lions cleanup hitter Morgan Black. But Lynden freshman Breanna Swendt (14-5), who gutted out all 15 innings on the day, won an outstanding eight-inning duel with Bellingham’s Eliza Rossman 4-3 to eliminate the Red Raiders (15-7).

Black, who had three hits against Bellingham, enjoyed the satisfaction of scoring the winning run on a wild pitch to spoil a game by Rossman.

“I thought (Rossman) threw great and I was really proud (of Swendt) for being so gutty,” Lynden coach Steve Petersen said. “I’m really proud of our kids, and I’ve been proud of them all year.”

Bellingham’s Paige Jacobsen doubled to open the eighth but Swendt stranded on third base by getting two pop-ups and a strikeout.

Bellingham fell to Cedarcrest (19-3) in the opener 8-0. Carrie Latimer had two hits and Jacobsen and Lyndsey Richard had one apiece.

TITLE MATCHUP

Cedarcrest and Sedro-Woolley clinched state berths -- only three teams advance -- and will play for the district title Friday night. Cedarcrest advanced with a 17-8 winner over Archbishop Murphy and Sedro-Woolley beat Anacortes 9-2 in the opening round.

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