Fastpitch squad wraps up season

"The Bainbridge fastpitch team punctuated its turnaround season Friday with an 8-3 victory over Yelm in district play.Although the Sparts bowed out of tournament play the next day, their overall record of 11-11-1, a postseason win and a fourth-place district finish was a remarkable turnaround for a team that was 2-17 and 3-16 the past two years. It was a good way to send the seniors off, coach Bill Clement said. Bainbridge opened the district tournament with a 4-1 loss to Lakes. That game was scoreless into the fourth inning, but Lakes' single run in the fourth and three in the fifth was enough. The Sparts had only four hits in the game, two by sophomore catcher Amanda Perna. Saturday, Bainbridge displayed a consistent attack against Yelm, scoring in the second, third, fourth and seventh. Three seniors paced the attack. Carolyn MacKenzie was 3-5, Katie Leigh was 2-2 and Krista Bucat knocked in two runs. Sophomore Caiti Kruse was 2-3 with a double and two runs batted in.We made some errors in that game, but we had enough offense to hold the lead, Clement said. Junior Brooke Hilton, who pitched all three games for Bainbridge, was the winning pitcher. The consolation-bracket game against North Mason started as well as possible - a leadoff homer by MacKenzie. Clutch defensive play made the lead hold up for a while. North Mason loaded the bases in each of the first two innings, but couldn't score.Then the wheels came off in the third inning. Again, North Mason had the bases loaded and two out. But this time, the outcome was a grand slam, followed by two more runs. Those six two-out runs were more than enough. After MacKenzie's homer, North Mason held the Sparts to two hits the rest of the day. The players worked hard to turn the program around, Clement said. We were disappointed with Saturday's game, because we had too many errors. But nobody thought we'd be in Tacoma last weekend for the district tournament, so it was a good season.Eight trackers head off to stateTwo Spartan girls claimed district track and field championships last weekend to lead a contingent of seven Bainbridge girls to this week's state championship meet in Tacoma. One Bainbridge boy also qualified for state. Freshman Laura Bartunek won the high-jump title with a leap of 5-0. And in the 800-meter run, sophomore Rebecca Ivey's 2:25.13 took first place. Junior Melissa Borgen was second in the 100-meter hurdles with 16.79. Sophomore Kari Jensen took second in the 400-meter run with 1:01.40. And the 4 x 400 meter relay team of Jensen, Borgen, Sarah Grue and Ivey was second in 4:12.96. The relay victory let the Spartans add junior Anne Jacobsen and sophomore Madeleine Mundt to the state team as relay alternates. As a team, the Bainbridge girls finished fourth in the district. Only the top two finishers in each event move on to state. And because the district has several track powerhouses, including defending state 3A champion Lakes, even personal-record results weren't enough to guarantee a trip to Tacoma. The toughness of the competition was evident on the boys' side. The lone Spartan qualifier was Joey Mankes, who finished second in the high jump with 6-0. But although Mankes set a personal record of 42-7 in the triple jump - the event in which he won the Olympic League championship - that wasn't enough to take him to state. Luke Preble and Andy Reese suffered the same fate. Preble had a personal-best time in the 400 of 50.8, but that was only good enough for third place in the district meet. Andy Reese's 10:03.58 clocking in the two-mile wasn't enough either.Preliminary heats are Friday, and the finals are on Saturday."

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