After sputtering through the first half of the game, the Central Whidbey Little League 10-12 softball team got into rhythm and raced by Sedro-Woolley 12-5 Saturday, June 15, in the District 11 tournament at Rhododendron Park.
Central Whidbey, the top seed in the three-team, double-elimination tournament, now plays for a berth in the state playoffs.
The Hammerheads received a first-round bye before defeating Sedro-Woolley. They play South Skagit, which won an elimination game with Sedro-Woolley Sunday, at 6 p.m. Monday.
South Skagit, which opened the tournament by losing to Sedro-Woolley Friday, will need to top Central Whidbey twice to earn the district title and the trip to state.
If South Skagit slips by Central Whidbey Monday, the teams will meet again at 6 p.m. Tuesday to determine the district champion.
Central Whidbey 12, Sedro-Woolley 5
The Hammerheads trailed Sedro-Woolley 5-2 heading into the bottom of the third inning, then the Central Whidbey club “buckled down,” according to coach Fred Farris, to pull away for the win.
“We made some silly mistakes early but got over it,” he added.
Central Whidbey scored five runs in the third to take the lead. Madison McMillan ignited the rally by ripping a triple over the left fielder’s head.
A walk to Chloe Marzocca; a single by Allison Nastali; consecutive walks to Taylor Brotemarkle, Mayleen Weatherford and Aleksia Jump; and a single by Savina Wells completed the rally.
The Hammerheads added three runs in the fourth. Once again McMillan got things started, this time with a single. After two outs, Teagan Calkins walked, Brotemarkle singled, Weatherford walked and Jump walked to push along the runners.
In the fifth, Mia Farris and Brionna Blouin sandwiched base hits around a walk to McMillan to score the final two runs.
Central Whidbey scored single runs in each of the first two innings before the big third-inning eruption.
After Sedro-Woolley scored two runs in the top of the first, Central Whidbey scored once in its half on a double by Wells and Farris’ bunt single.
In the second inning, Jada Heaton and Wells singled to produce CWLL’s second run.
The Hammerheads finished with 11 hits, led by Wells with two singles and a double. McMillan singled, tripled and walked twice and Farris added two base hits.
Blouin, Nastali, Brotemarkle and Heaton all singled.
Central Whidbey was helped along by 11 walks, with two each going to Jump and Calkins.
Marzocca pitched a complete game six-hitter with nine strikeouts. She did not allow a base hit after the third inning.
Marzocca was backed by a strong defense.
“Brionna made some nice plays at third base,” coach Farris said. “Madison had a good catch in the outfield.”
Farriss added that the team is “blessed with four good catchers.”
Wells handled the duties Saturday.