Sports

All-Star finishes: baseball 3rd, softball 4th

(Top) Bainbridge softball All-Star Hailey Willmann throws to first during state tournament play. (Jim Bryant photo)  (Above) The Bainbridge Island Little League All-Stars celebrate their recent district tournament victory.  The team went on to take third place in the state tournament in Centralia, falling to eventual champions Kent. (Photo Courtesy of Bainbridge Island Little League) -
(Top) Bainbridge softball All-Star Hailey Willmann throws to first during state tournament play. (Jim Bryant photo) (Above) The Bainbridge Island Little League All-Stars celebrate their recent district tournament victory. The team went on to take third place in the state tournament in Centralia, falling to eventual champions Kent. (Photo Courtesy of Bainbridge Island Little League)
— image credit:

The quest for state titles comes up just short for both Bainbridge teams.

PORT ORCHARD – The Bainbridge Island Softball All-Stars couldn’t overcome a strong pair of pitchers and several errors, Friday, falling 11-0 to Marysville Friday and being eliminated from the state tournament.

All-Star manager Troy Greenfield felt there was a bit of an emotional hangover from Thursday’s thriller against Lewis River, but he was still happy with how his team did on the field.

“I was very impressed with how they came out,” he said. “I expected to be disappointed when we were done, but the only disappointment is that these girls don’t get to see each other every night from here on out.”

All-Star pitcher Hailey Willmann got into trouble in the first two innings as Marysville twice loaded the bases with no outs. But she got out of the jam in the first with some nice defense and a strikeout on a change-up, and only allowed one runner to score in the second.

Marysville pitcher Riley Fritz kept Bainbridge off the basepaths with a rising fastball. She struck out five, walked one and gave up just two hits, both to Clara Dunn.

In the third, it all came apart for the Bainbridge All-Stars as Marysville scored five times on a passed ball, several nice bunts and a two-run single.

It didn’t help that the Bainbridge defense committed two errors in the inning as well.

“We were probably a little tired from playing so many games in a row,” Greenfield said of the errors. “You get to those spots where a tough play needs to be made and you don’t have quite that extra step; it can hurt you.”

The champions from District 1 scored two more times in the fourth. They could have had more on a fly ball near the left field foul line that appeared to be a hit, but Larkin Sheldon made a fine running catch to turn it into a sacrifice fly.

Marysville scored once more in the fifth and three times in the sixth to close the game out.

Bainbridge tried a last stand in their frame when Sheldon and T.J. Pitts got on board with consecutive singles against reliever Shelby Meyer. She recovered to get Caitlin McCormick to fly out and Abbey Hartmann to ground out to end the game and the Bainbridge season.

The All-Stars finished fourth in the tournament, and Greenfield said they will be a strong team next year.

Only Dunn, Hartmann and Pitts will be ineligible to return.

Some of the players now will move on to select teams while the rest will spend vacation time with family, then get ready for school and soccer.

Greenfield will take his daughter Taylor down to Oregon to compete in a softball tournament with her select team and “might get back to doing some work at the office.”

It was an “absolute joy” coaching the Bainbridge squad, he said.

“Every single one of them has the biggest heart and they’re just a bunch of great kids,” he said. “Every night I’m going to come home and I’m going to want to turn toward Strawberry (Field), and I may do it a few times just by mistake. It gets to be a habit, and a fun habit, for a few months.”

Boys fall to a tough Kent nine

It was a tough way to go for the Bainbridge Island 11U All-Stars last weekend, as they lost 8-4 to Mill Creek on Friday and 10-0 to eventual state champion Kent on Saturday, falling from the Little League state tournament.

The All-Stars took a 2-0 lead on Mill Creek – the first time in two years that squad had faced a deficit.

But the champions from District 1 came back in the fourth inning, scoring six runs on six hits off of Bainbridge starter Steven Wellbrock.

Mill Creek pitchers held the All-Stars to six hits, but Bainbridge rallied in their last at-bat, scoring two runs and loading the bases with the tying run coming to the plate. But Mill Creek was able to record the last out to send Bainbridge to the loser’s bracket.

Ryan Schreck had two hits for the game, while Wellbrock scored two runs.

In the final game, Kent pitcher Cash McGuire was money for his team, holding the All-Stars to just one hit, a single by Robby Ackerley.

The squad from District 10 scored four times in the first four innings, and six more in the fifth on five hits and two errors by the Bainbridge defense to put the game out of reach.

The All-Stars finished third, the highest finish for a Little League team from this area since the All-Stars won the state tournament in 2001.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 24 edition online now. Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates