The Glacier Peak Grizzlies took advantage of two big blasts from their lineup and some stumbles by the Mountlake Terrace defense to slip past the Hawks 8-7 in a District 1 3A Softball Tournament game played at Phil Johnson Fields in Everett on Thursday.
With the loss, Terrace’s 2016 season came to an end; the Hawks finished the year with an overall record of 15-8.
“I’m very proud of them; they had a great season,” Terrace Coach Shannon Rasmussen said of her squad.
The Hawks had opportunity to extend their season at least one more game as a win on Thursday would have put the team into the district tourney 3rd/4th place contest. But the Grizzlies came from behind twice in their loser-out match-up with the Hawks, then broke a 7-7 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning by manufacturing the winning run without the benefit of a hit. Two Terrace errors in the inning allowed the Grizzlies’ Alyssa Jordan to come around and score, giving Glacier Peak the final lead.
Before the late game dramatics, the Grizzlies scored runs on two balls pounded deep into the outfield. In the first inning, junior Ashley Slemmons sliced a three-run triple into the right field corner. Then, in the fourth inning, sophomore Bella MacMillan blasted a two-run home run over the right field fence.
Slemmons’ triple in the first capped off a five-run inning for the Grizzlies, helped by the struggles on the mound by Terrace’s starter Gabby Calhoun. The junior faced five GP batters, couldn’t record an out, and was quickly pulled in favor of Kira Doan, who gave up the Slemmons’ hit but settled down for much of the rest of the game.
“She came out and pitched lights out for a couple innings there and did everything that we could have asked of her,” Rasmussen said of Doan.
With Doan keeping the Glacier Peak hitters off-balanced, the Hawk offense was able to keep in team in the game. Terrace picked up single runs in the second and fifth innings; senior Ashley Fitzgerald topped off a Hawk three-run fourth inning with a two-RBI double.
The Hawks might have been able to tally more runs in the middle innings, but outstanding catches in the outfield by Slemmons and her GP teammate Abigail Doney slowed the Terrace offensive output.
“We came out hitting and we got quite a few base hits. And we hit when we needed to hit and we got some runs,” Rasmussen said. “But it could have easily been a completely different game if a couple of the balls could have dropped and not found their mitts. They made some huge key plays.”
With the victory, Glacier Peak went on to the tourney’s 3rd/4th place game and defeated the Marysville-Pilchuck Tomahawks 12-9, earning a berth in the WIAA 3A State Softball Tournament next week. Meadowdale defeated Everett 8-1 in the district tournament championship game 8-1. Both the Mavericks and the Seagulls move on to the state tourney.
To see the entire 2016 District 1 3A Softball Tournament bracket, click http://www.wescoathletics.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=1887&sport=15.
For Hawk seniors Fitzgerald and Lauren Miller, their prep playing days are over. Fitzgerald, who plans on playing for Edmonds Community College next year, was saddened by Thursday’s loss. “Yeah, I’m a little disappointed. You always want to go to state, you always want to make it. But you win some, you lose some,” she said.
“We were still out there, still smiling, making jokes and stuff,” she continued. “You know, softball is just a game. We should make sure that we are having fun and not being totally serious.”
Despite the defeat, Rasmussen also walked away from the field on Thursday with a smile, claiming it was because she saw her team fighting until the final out.
“You go away from it knowing that they left everything out there and they were in the game from the first pitch to the last pitch,” she said. “I’d much rather lose a game like this knowing that we were in it the entire game and that they gave 110 percent.”
Prep Softball: Mountlake Terrace vs. Glacier Peak, May 19 (District 1 3A loser-out game)
Terrace 2 1 0 3 1 0 0 — 7
Glacier Peak 5 0 0 2 0 1 x — 8
Winning pitcher: Bella MacMillan (Glacier Peak)
Losing pitcher: Kira Doan (Mountlake Terrace)
Records: Mountlake Terrace 15-8 overall; Glacier Peak 15-8 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: 2016 season completed
–Story and photos by Doug Petrowski