NWLL runs into buzzsaw

The good news for the North Whidbey Little League major softball all-stars: they get to play their district tournament on their home fields.

The bad news: they had to face Sedro-Woolley, one of toughest pitching teams in the district, during their tournament opener Thursday night.

“They have really tough pitching, they’ll probably win the tournament,” said NWLL coach Al Fakkema, after a 19-1 loss.

Sedro-Woolley pitcher Diane Kinser dominated in her four innings in the pitching circle. She allowed just one run on two hits and had nine strikeouts in four innings.

North Whidbey wasn’t completely shut out, however.

The local group of 11-12 year-old all-stars got their bats moving in the second inning.

Marissa Fakkema started a small rally by drilling a ground ball past the first base bag. With one out, Fakkema hustled all the way around to third base, just sliding in safe for a triple. Liz Hedderman followed that up by blooping the first pitch she saw over the first baseman’s head for an RBI single.

Unfortunately for NWLL, that was the only offense they could muster.

Sedro-Woolley, on the other hand, had no trouble driving in runs.

It scored seven in the first inning, using six walks and three key hits to pull ahead for the big lead. NWLL starter Mariah Martin ended up striking out the side, but struggled with her control in between.

“We just had some first game jitters,” coach Fakkema said.

SWLL tacked on four more runs in each of the three remaining innings to put the 10-run mercy rule into effect.

The loss bumped NWLL into the losers’ bracket. They face either South Skagit Little League or Burlington-Edison Little League at 10 a.m., today, July 8 at Volunteer Park in Oak Harbor.

“We’re going to work our way through the losers’ bracket, you never know,” coach Fakkema said. “Our bats will come around.”

Sedro-Woolley 744 4 — 19 6

North Whidbey 010 0 — 1 2

Martin, Hedderman (2), Steele (3), Saar (4) and Srdar and Bates. Kinser and Styles.


Burlington-Edison Little League defeated Central Whidbey Little League/South Whidbey Little League 27-2 on Thursday night.

Burlington moved on to face South Skagit Little League last night. Central Whidbey/South Whidbey will face the loser of Friday Harbor Little League and Sedro-Woolley Little League at 1 p.m., today, July 8.

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