Sports

Fastpitchers earn No. 3 seed

The fastpitch pitching staff of Sara Robinson (left), Chrissy Haugen (center) and Lizzie Greene has been a major factor in the team’s success this season. Division champs, the Spartans begin District play Friday. - JIM WHITING/Staff Photo
The fastpitch pitching staff of Sara Robinson (left), Chrissy Haugen (center) and Lizzie Greene has been a major factor in the team’s success this season. Division champs, the Spartans begin District play Friday.
— image credit: JIM WHITING/Staff Photo

The fastpitch team earned the Metro League’s No. 3 seed with a white-knuckle 9-8 win over Holy Names on Friday, the team’s 15th in its last 17 games.

The girls scored three in the first and took a 9-5 lead with six fourth-inning runs, then held on as the Cougars chipped away with one in the fifth, two in the sixth and had the tying run on first with two outs in the seventh before Caiti Kruse snagged a line drive to secure the win.

“I did bite my nails a little bit,” said coach Steve Nelson. “The girls put a lot into the Ballard game (a 3-0 loss the previous day) and they were a little flat. But Kruse kept us in the game defensively.

“And we have a bunch of motivated kids who are performing well now. It’s a good sign that they know how to win, even when they’re not at 100 percent.”

Logan Mohr drove in two runs in the first, and Lizzie Greene hit a clutch two-out single to plate Mohr.

With the Cougars scoring four in the top of the second to take the lead and adding a single tally in the fourth, Ashley Anderson began the bottom of the fourth with a double. Bianca Quezada singled. Chrissy Haugen also singled to load the bases.

Kruse drove in one run and Mohr followed with her third RBI. Several breakdowns in the Cougar defense brought in another.

With two outs and the bases loaded, Julia McComas hit a pinch-hit single to score one run. Then Greene had perhaps the game’s biggest hit, her second two-out single to drive in two more.

“She’s just amazing,” said Nelson. “She’s been doing a great job off the bench and she started today.”

The team opens District 2 play on Friday at Tukwila’s Fort Dent Park with a 2 p.m. game against West Seattle. Action concludes on Saturday, with five teams advancing to the state tournament.

Nelson was optimistic about his team’s chances.

“We’re a more well-rounded team than we were last year,” he said. “We’re not relying on one pitcher (Brooke Hilton, who graduated). We also have more maturity. We have a lot of kids who know how to play the game.

“I think we have the talent and the depth, especially in pitching, to take one of the top five spots. We just have to play our game and not give games away. We’re definitely there defensively. We haven’t made the mistakes we did at the beginning of the year.

“And if we do go to State, I think we have a good chance of finishing in the top three or four.”

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