With its offense in full gear, the Central Whidbey 8-10 softball team steamed into the District 11 championship series with a 23-7 win over North Whidbey Wednesday, June 28, in Anacortes.
Central Whidbey now faces Sedro-Woolley for the district title and a berth into the state tournament. Central Whidbey will need to defeat Sedro-Woolley twice to take the crown because Sedro-Woolley topped Central Whidbey earlier in the tournament.
The two teams meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 29, in Anacortes. A second game, if necessary, will be at 6 p.m. Friday.
Central Whidbey 23, North Whidbey 7
Both teams scored in bunches early, then Allison Nastali came in relief for Central Whidbey and tossed a pair of shutout innings to slow the North Whidbey attack.
Central Whidbey scored five runs in the first inning and nine in the second. North Whidbey plated a run in the first and erupted for six in the second to narrow the deficit to 14-7.
The Central Whidbey offense kept rolling from that point, but Nastali and her defense cooled the North Whidbey bats.
North Whidbey had its own defensive highlights, turning in a pair of double plays. In the third inning, third baseman Keli Aranguri-Plummer gobbled up a ground ball, tagged third for a force out and tossed to second for another.
An inning later, second baseman Leilah Edwards scooped up a grounder, raced to first for the force and then fired home to cut down another runner.
Taylor Auld, Chloe Marzocca, Mimi Forde and Nastali all singled for Central Whidbey; and Mia Farris, Taylor Brotemarkle, Nastali and Marzocca all scored three times.
Paisley Place singled for North Whidbey, and Edwards scored two runs.