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Diamonds capture Bainbridge Island Little League softball crown
Wednesday’s BILL Major League softball championship game matched regular-season champion Diamonds and runnerup Storm. It was an intense struggle with four lead changes, with the Diamonds ultimately prevailing 10-6 in defense of the team’s 2008 title.
The game started as a pitching duel, with the Storm’s Roxanne Edenholm striking out seven Diamonds over the first three innings.
The Storm jumped out to an early lead as Edenholm doubled and scored the game’s first run in the second inning, and Celia Story came around on a walk and scored in the third inning.
The Diamonds put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the third with a four-run outburst for a 4-2 lead. Bailey Starbuck, Riley Kulfan, Erin Norton and Allison Snare scored the Diamonds’ runs in the inning. The Storm roared back in the top of the fourth with three runs to recapture the lead at 5-4. Edenholm, Rachel Gallagher and Alexina Boudreaux-Allen all scored for the Storm.
The Diamonds scratched out a run in the bottom half of the fourth inning to tie the game at 5-5.
Rosalie Pisano, who had two hits in the game, came around to score on an RBI by Abby Palmer.
After Diamonds’ pitcher Julie Feikes shut down the Storm in the fifth inning, her team’s bats came alive with a five-run outburst. Norton, Snare, Pisano, Catie Muir and Hannah Lipka all singled, with Lipka driving in what proved to be the winning run.
Down 10-5 in their last at-bat, the Storm rallied for a run, with Kristin Bond scoring behind hits by Edenholm and Boudreaux-Allen. The rally fell short as Feikes closed the door to preserve the win.
The Blaze won the intermediate title, defeating the Racers 10-6. According to coach Karl Bowman: “It was the best-played game of the year for both teams, with minimal walks. There was a ton of hitting and a ton of great defense.”
Starting pitcher Caroline Bowman allowed two runs in four innings and added a double and single. Avery Gori stroked a two-out, two-RBI double in the second to give the Blaze a 3-0 lead.
Leadoff batter Anisa Ashabi had two key hits, a triple and a single, and ignited a two-out rally in the fourth that plated three runs. She also pitched the final two innings. Cora White “played a very strong first base with numerous putouts,” Bowman said. “She was the key to our defensive effort.”
The evening also included recognition of the Bainbridge High softball team, which won the 3A state title this year. The players and coaches received engraved medals and flowers.