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Bainbridge little leaguers win D-2 softball title
POULSBO – Bainbridge Majors softball coach Melanie Edenholm suggested one minor adjustment for the batters to make against Sequim’s starting pitcher.
It paid off big time.
Bainbridge batted around in the fourth inning to score nine runs, rallying from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Sequim 11-5 in the Little League District 2 championship game at Snider Park in Poulsbo Monday night.
To get there, it defeated Sequim 7-6 on Saturday
Things didn’t start off well for Bainbridge, as several mistakes led to three runs.
“We gave them six outs in the first inning, unfortunately,” coach Eric Lipka said. “We didn’t play defense very well in the first inning, but we turned it up from there.”
Sequim’s pitcher kept Bainbridge off-balance for the first three innings, but Edenholm came up with a suggestion for the team’s approach at the plate.
“Melanie (noticed) she was throwing inside, so we adjusted where we were in the box and that opened it up,” manager Jennifer Easley said. “She wasn’t that fast but she was getting us to dip (our shoulders.) As soon as we could straighten that out, we were good.”
Kyra Easley got things going when she was hit by a pitch, then worked her way to third before scoring off an error.
Anna Obergottsberger reached on an error, then Julie Feikes drew a walk to load the bases.
Quinn Erickson drove in a run on a infield single, then Leah Nordberg followed with a walk to score another run.
After Kayla Estes reached on a error, Caitlin Maguire doubled to drive in two runs.
Easley reached on a walk her second time around in the inning, then Hannah Lipka doubled to drive in two more runs.
Bainbridge added another run in the fifth when Obergottsberger reached on a walk, then Erin Jones bunted her over, but a throwing error allowed Obergottsberger to score.
They had an opportunity to score more, but the Sequim defense picked two runners off.
Sequim put two on the board off a bunt single and a double, but Bainbridge countered with some stellar defense of its own. The catcher started it off by gunning down a runner at second, then Nordberg made a great scoop off a hard hit grounder to throw out a runner at first base.
Lauren Sheehan finished it off by throwing out a runner at second who was trying to stretch a single into a double.
Bainbridge added another run in the sixth when Estes walked, then advanced to third on two passed balls.
Easley walked, then tried to steal but was caught in a rundown.
Estes scored, but Easley was tagged out at second, going down hard as the second baseman tagged her near the head.
She came out of the game but was fine afterwards.
Maguire did the rest in the sixth, striking out two and getting a pop up to first base to end the game.
The Majors softball All-Stars head to Walla Walla Friday to take part in the Little League Majors state tournament.
Several other teams are making their way through their respective brackets to earn a trip to state.
The Bainbridge 9-10 Softball All Star team experienced both sides of the wild spectrum of tournament ball over the weekend, dropping their first game 22-4 to East Jefferson/South Jefferson/Port Townsend, but coming back strong Sunday to win 37-8 over North Kitsap.
Starting pitcher Alyssa Estes set the tone in the first inning against North, striking out the side on nine pitches.
Bainbridge came out and scored 33 runs in the second and third innings. Natalie Allen took over in the circle gutting it through the second inning only to come back and dominate in the third, allowing no hits. Natalya Niehaus closed.
Offensively, Maddy Mikami doubled and singled, Caroline Devlin singled and scored two runs, Natalie Tang singled and scored two runs, Amanda Comeau crushed a double to centerfield and scored two runs, Emma Lindsay doubled and singled, Kate Matthews singled and scored two runs, Melody Giasson scored two runs, Mikelle Ackerley doubled and scored four runs, Natalie Ackerley scored five runs, Natalya Niehaus singled twice and scored five runs, and Alyssa Estes scored four runs.
The Bainbridge Majors baseball All-Stars kept the parade going on Saturday as the Bainbridge nine took the field against a powerful Gig Harbor American squad.
The game was a pitching duel from the start as Pierre LeDorze was matched strike for strike by the hurler from Gig Harbor. LeDorze put a crack in the GH defense with a single in the fourth inning, moved to third on Tino Peleti’s sharp single. With Art Mikelsen Field full of the Bainbridge faithful chanting “We love Gravy,” Liam Greive stepped the plate and gave them a full helping, driving home LeDorze with a two-strike single.
Bainbridge’s tenuous lead remained 1-0 until the sixth inning. Lincoln Beal got the party started with a blistering lead-off double to right field. LeDorze followed with a single and then Griewe sent a 2-1 pitch high over the leftfield wall and across the street onto a neighbor’s deck, through a cat door and into the living room. The offensive fireworks sent the crowd into a delirium.
After loading the bases in the bottom of the sixth, LeDorze gave way to big Harrison King, who needed three pitches to save the day. LeDorze and King combined to throw a no-hitter.
Sunday evening featured another matchup of pitching aces as Ben Kussie dueled with South Kitsap Southern’s best. SKS jumped to an early lead with a solo home run in the second but backed by solid defense by infielders Jack Post, Liam Greiwe and outfielder Campbell Queen, Kussie kept South Kitsap off the scoreboard. In the top of the fourth inning with Pierre LeDorze safely aboard but two outs, the enigmatic Greiwe stepped into the batter’s box. Like a postman on a warm summer day, Greiwe delivered again. Driving the ball over the left field fence, he put Bainbridge up 2-1.
But trouble came knocking and barged through the door uninvited as the defense faltered with a couple of errors and three SKS singles pushed three runs across to charge into the lead.
Bainbridge played Gig Harbor American on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in Port Orchard.
The Bainbridge 9-10 Blue and Gold teams play each other in Gig Harbor Wednesday.
The Blue All-Stars defeated North Mason 23-2 on Sunday.
–Stew Estes, Steve Queen and Jim Boegl contributed to this article.