Unable to overcome a tough first inning, the North Whidbey Little League 11/12 softball team was eliminated from the state tournament in a 13-3 loss in four innings to Northeast Seattle Saturday, July 8, in Oak Harbor.
North Whidbey beat Salmon Creek 7-3 the previous evening to stay alive in the tournament and set up the showdown with Northeast Seattle.
North Whidbey coach Gerry Oliver had a positive message after the tournament.
“Our softball program took some really big strides this year, and we put Oak Harbor softball on the map,” he said. “I’m very proud to say I was a part of the ride.
“The experience for the ladies was good. They had the opportunity to play high level softball against some really good teams and compete.”
Oliver added he hopes the players learned what it takes to play at the state level and commit to working in the off season.
“Great group of young ladies and I really hope the girls keep playing, because if they do, the high school program is going to benefit from it,” he added.
North Whidbey 7, Salmon Creek 3
North Whidbey’s offense perked up in the second half of the game for a comeback win.
Salmon Creek scored twice in the first inning and once in the third to take a 3-1 lead.
From there, NW pitcher Macy Oliver held the Southwest Washington club hitless and gave her team a chance to get back in the game.
Hits by Jadyn Erickson and Kali Bobsin, a walk to Megan Sumner and a hit batter (Payton Salter) helped North Whidbey tie the game in the top of the fourth inning.
A single by Emily Wilson and a double by Kayla Carr led to two runs in the fifth.
In the sixth, Olivia Kuykendall and Oliver both scored.
Oliver picked up the pitching win and piled up nine strike outs.
Northeast Seattle 13, North Whidbey 3
The game started well for North Whidbey. It scored two runs in the top of the first inning with the help of an error and hits by Desiree Becherer and Carr.
Northeast Seattle countered with 12 first-inning runs, all coming before the second out was recorded.
North Whidbey’s final run came in the second inning when Kuykendall walked and scored on an error.