Sports Roundup -- Fastpitchers roll to tourney win/Boys LAX storm hits Maple Valley/Cheng, Donohue advance at district/Fifth place for boys, girls track

Fastpitchers roll to tourney win

SEATTLE – Once again, the Bainbridge Island fastpitch team was faced with a win or go home situation – and once again they came through when the chips were down.

After dropping both games of a doubleheader against Holy Names and Eastside Catholic on Friday, the Spartans took advantage of eight errors and 11 walks to defeat the Nathan Hale Raiders 13-1 in the seventh/eighth place game in the Metro League tournament Monday.

With the win, Bainbridge moves on to the Sea-King District 2 tournament as the seventh and final team out of the Metro League.

“I told them to leave everything on the field and they did just that,” coach Liz McCloskey said. “These girls are unbelievable. I couldn’t ask for a better group.”

Nathan Hale threatened in the first when they worked the bases loaded on an error, a passed ball on a strikeout and a base hit with two outs, but pitcher Karen Robinson – who finished with seven strikeouts on the day – was able to get Kelly Thorman to ground out to first baseman Marci Morford.

In the second, the Spartans drew first blood as Tabitha Mabrey led off with a double and would eventually score on an error.

The Raiders loaded the bases again with two outs in their frame but Robinson got centerfielder Teren Mueller to ground one to third baseman Stephanie Wagner who stepped on third for the force to end the threat.

Bainbridge loaded the bases in the third on three straight walks, but couldn’t convert as Emily Radolla struck out Chelsea Hansen and got Morford to fly out to center. Nathan Hale tied the game in the third when Cristina Kelley doubled and scored on a Thorman single.

The Spartans retook the lead in the fourth when Anna Lyons reached on an error as third baseman Suzanne Tran and shortstop Holly Mirshull collided on her pop-up, allowing it to drop. Chelsea Baker walked, then Robinson bunted to advance the runners. After Amanda Szarzynski grounded out to score Lyons, Wagner singled, scoring Baker.

In the fifth, the Spartans kicked the door down against new pitcher Cammie Wraspir to pad their lead.

Morford started the inning with a walk. She advanced to second on a passed ball, then scored when Lyons bunted to move her up, but Tran’s throw was over the first baseman’s head. Hansen reached on an error when Mueller dropped her fly ball. After Robinson struck out, Lyons scored on a passed ball. Szarzynski then tripled, scoring Hansen.

Wagner reached on an error by Mirshull, scoring Szarzynski. Mabrey walked, then Wagner advanced to third on a passed ball. Mabrey stole second, and Kelcee Azure appeared to ground out, but the home plate umpire overruled the field umpire and was declared safe, allowing Wagner to score.

After Hansen walked, Radolla came back in the game and promptly gave up a single to Morford, allowing Mabrey to score.

The Spartans added four more runs in the seventh on an inside-the-park-home run by Mabrey, a bases loaded walk and a two-RBI single by Szarzynski.

Bainbridge faces another do-or-die test when they play West Seattle in a loser-out game tomorrow at noon at the Fort Dent Softball Complex in Tukwila.

– John Becerra, Jr.

Boys LAX storm hits Maple Valley

Maple Valley dodged the power outage that descended on the eastern ridge of Kent, creating havoc with valley traffic last Friday evening.

But they couldn’t dodge the 55 Bainbridge shots and determined attack of the Spartan boys lacrosse team in the first round of state playoff action at Memorial Stadium.

Behind a 51-32 advantage in ground balls, and the three-goal, four-assist performance of an energetic Willy Delius, Bainbridge advanced with a 13-2 quarterfinal victory.

They face Mountain conference runner up Issaquah (15-2) tonight at home again. The 7 p.m. semifinal match will be played at Memorial Stadium.

Aggressive play was the difference Friday. Both teams showed playoff jitters in the opening stanza. When a Bainbridge shot by Dylan Masi bounced off the post five and-a-half minutes in, coach Jack Visco called a timeout.

“We just needed to settle down,” said Visco. Thirteen seconds later it was Masi who rung the opening bell for Bainbridge, his two goals giving a 2-0 lead in a sloppy and slippery first quarter.

Bainbridge came out of the first break confident and crisp, the boisterous crowd just settling in.

Masi fed Zach Smith in the first minute of the second period, and after Willy Delius pitched three assists to Ryan van den Meerendonk, Garrett Lund and David Vander Hoek consecutively, the Spartans threatened to run away with a 6-0 halftime lead.

The home team’s midfield and defensive pressure proved effective, protecting their own zone and keeping Maple Valley to 11 shots. Goalkeeper Patrick McMullen improved with near flawless play, making three saves, and no unforced errors for his fourth win.

It was 11-0 after three quarters before Maple Valley got on the board.

Emerging from his playmaker role, Vander Hoek turned scorer with his second, then Delius answered for the final score.

By hosting the Eagles tonight, Bainbridge (13-4) can avenge their earlier April loss, an 8-7 classic at Issaquah, as well as earn a return trip to the final in Qwest Field with a win where they lost to Mercer Island.

Last year’s champions are favored to beat Garfield in the other semifinal tonight, and to return to the 4 p.m. championship game this Saturday, after a 19-3 quarterfinal win over Seattle Prep. They won last year by beating Bainbridge in the 2004 title match.

For tonight, the Spartans will focus on winning against Issaquah. Any rematch opportunity will come from there.

In a way, the current Bainbridge success can be traced from their two losses to this year’s Division I powers. The thriller at Issaquah April 12 and their 18-11 loss to Mercer Island April 29 showed the players that they could play with the best.

Playing of late with the field presence that coach Visco has preached, the Spartans have won five of six going into tonight’s match.

For tickets to the May 28 state championships, which include a 7 p.m. league match between MLL teams from Baltimore and New Jersey, contact Bev Haley at 842-0915. Proceeds benefit the Bainbridge Lacrosse Club.

– T.F. Smeeth

Cheng, Donohue advance at district

Bainbridge individuals had split results at the SeaKing District tournament Monday with Whitney Cheng and Molly Donohue the only competitors continuing yesterday at Lower Woodland Park in Seattle.

Daniel Donohue lost to Newport’s Loren Lo, 6-0, 6-2, in a loser-out first round match. The two boys doubles teams will go home also. Spencer Cheng and Hand Hobbs falling to Mercer Island’s Fulk/Culpepper duo after three sets, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. The Seattle Prep team of Jenkins/Burke ousted Taylor Lea and Erik Saksa 6-1, 6-3.

Whitney Cheng, with a first-round bye, recovered in the second round match defeating Newport’s Tiffany Vo after losing the first set, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 for her 24th win in as many matches this season.

Molly Donohue won her first match 6-1, 6-2 over Blanchet’s Caitlin Stubner before stumbling, 6-1, 6-3 to Mercer’s Amelia Carpenter.

Cheng, in the district semifinals for the third time, faced Carpenter yesterday morning in the semifinal match with today’s final on the line. Donohue faced Vo for the consolation match with a trip to State on the line.

In girls doubles, Marietta Crockett and Jenny Trygg had their season end at the hands of Newport’s Miyauchi/Phan, joined by Gwen Gottlieb and Jocelyn Moody who were defeated by Liu/Duong of Sammamish, 6-1, 6-2.

– T.F. Smeeth

Fifth place for boys, girls track

The Bainbridge Island track teams came back to finish strong at the Metro League Championships on Friday.

The boys placed fifth with a total of 55 points, while the girls tied with Seattle Prep for fifth place with 57 points.

Quinton Agosta did his part, as he finished first in the javelin with a throw of 143 feet, 5 inches. He also finished second in the discus with a throw of 133 feet, 4 inches and fourth in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet, 8 inches.

Angelo Ritualo was third in the 400 with a time of 51.58. Bryan Jacobsen was third in the long jump with a mark of 21 feet, 1 inch.

The 4x100 relay team finished third with a time of 44:94.

On the girls side, Alana MacWhorter finished third in the 400 with a time of 1:00.67, while Hillary Pritchett was third in the 800 with a time of 2:21.69.

Caroline Johnson finished second in the 1600 with a time of 5:10.61.

The 4x100 relay team finished third with a time of 51.89, while the 4x400 relay team finished second with a time of 4:07.20.

The top seven in each event will now move on to the SeaKing District 2 track meet at the Southwest Athletic Complex in West Seattle.

The preliminaries will be held today, and the finals will be held Friday. The first event is at 3 p.m.

– John Becerra, Jr.

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