Sports

All-Stars heat up summer with wins -- softball

Bainbridge All- Stars’ second baseman Sarah Dacquisto watches Clarkston’s Cheyane Nelson safely slide into second during state tournament softball action  Sunday evening in South Kitsap. - JIM BRYANT photo
Bainbridge All- Stars’ second baseman Sarah Dacquisto watches Clarkston’s Cheyane Nelson safely slide into second during state tournament softball action Sunday evening in South Kitsap.
— image credit: JIM BRYANT photo

Greenfield, softball 11-12s breeze past Clarkston in State tournament play.

Don’t blink when you watch the Bainbridge Island Softball Majors All-Stars play, or you might miss a pitch, an at-bat, or an entire game.

Taylor Greenfield threw a complete game and struck out 11 as the All-Stars defeated District 5 champion Clarkston 6-2 on Sunday in Port Orchard, in a game that went just over an hour, to advance in the State tournament.

Greenfield gave up just two hits and walked only one from the mound.

On the offensive side, Clara Dunn went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and Larkin Sheldon went 2 for 3 with a triple and drove in three.

Coach Brian Moore said the game plan was simple – adhere to the principles of “small ball.”

“One of the big things we’ve been doing for several games is to get the leadoff batter (on), bunt them around (and) bring them in,” he said. “Our leadoff batter Clara, she lays the ball down left-handed and gets on base. She runs like a gazelle (and) she’s amazing on the basepath.”

Dunn worked her leadoff magic in the first inning, as she dropped down a beautiful bunt to get on base. She stole second and later scored on a single by Hailey Willmann that dropped between the centerfielder and the rightfielder.

After Caitlin McCormick laid down another bunt single, Sheldon drove a fastball into the right centerfield gap for a three bagger to score Willmann and McCormick.

In the second, Dunn did it again, putting the ball down just a few feet in front of home plate to get on board. She stole second, then Willmann walked.

McCormick popped out in foul territory to the catcher, but Sheldon sent a fly ball just over the center fielder’s head for a single to score Dunn.

Willmann scored on a groundout by TJ Pitts, then Sheldon scored on a solid single by Kristi Worley.

Meanwhile, Greenfield sailed through the innings as she retired batter after batter with just a few pitches.

In the fourth, Clarkston finally got to the Bainbridge ace. After she retired the leadoff batter via groundout, she gave up a bunt single, a line drive to right field that went off Worley’s glove and allowed a run to score, and another single that scored a run.

It appeared the rally was on, but Greenfield struck out the next two batters to end the threat.

“They’re a good team,” Moore said of the Clarkston side. “They’re going to get some runs. But Taylor was on out there. Every game she throws a little harder, (plus) she got a couple of changeups in there that keeps them off guard.

“There are very few girls who are throwing changeups out there.”

Bainbridge faces District 8 champ Woodinville West at 4 p.m. today at Art Mikelsen Field in Port Orchard.

With a win, they will move on in tournament play to face either Kirkland National or Tahoma at 7 p.m. Friday.

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