“9-10 stars hang in, win 20-10”

"Bainbridge's 9-10-year-old softball all-stars stayed in the thick of district tournament play Monday with a 20-10 win over Mason County.By winning two and losing one over the weekend, coach Kirk Robinson's squad played their way into a Friday rematch with Sequim, with the winner facing perennially strong East Jefferson for the district championship.Bainbridge opened tournament play Friday with a 14-0 trouncing of Mason County. The islanders scored three times in the first inning, five in the second and six in the third before the game was called because of the 10-run mercy rule.Bainbridge's pitchers combined for a one-hitter. Chelsea Whealdon pitched the first three innings, striking out seven. Abbey Heller pitched the fourth, and struck out the side.The pitchers helped themselves at the plate as well. Whealdon drove in three runs with three hits, and Heller knocked in two runs with a double."

  • Wednesday, July 12, 2000 8:00am
  • Sports

“Bainbridge’s 9-10-year-old softball all-stars stayed in the thick of district tournament play Monday with a 20-10 win over Mason County.By winning two and losing one over the weekend, coach Kirk Robinson’s squad played their way into a Friday rematch with Sequim, with the winner facing perennially strong East Jefferson for the district championship.Bainbridge opened tournament play Friday with a 14-0 trouncing of Mason County. The islanders scored three times in the first inning, five in the second and six in the third before the game was called because of the 10-run mercy rule.Bainbridge’s pitchers combined for a one-hitter. Chelsea Whealdon pitched the first three innings, striking out seven. Abbey Heller pitched the fourth, and struck out the side.The pitchers helped themselves at the plate as well. Whealdon drove in three runs with three hits, and Heller knocked in two runs with a double. Other leading hitters were Sarah Wettleson, who had four runs batted in on two hits, and Hillary Grant, who had two RBIs on two hits, including a double.On Saturday, Sequim knocked Bainbridge into the losers’ bracket with a 6-4 win in seven innings.Before Bainbridge settled into a game rhythm, Sequim jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. But Bainbridge pitcher Karen Robinson settled down to hold Sequim scoreless the rest of the way, striking out ten in the process.Bainbridge got close with three runs in the fourth on an RBI single by Heller and a two-run double by Laura Hall.The islanders tied the game in the bottom of the sixth – the last regulation inning. Robinson laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to score Grant from third, and advanced to third herself when the throw to first base got away.Bainbridge tried for the win in regulation when Robinson came home after the Sequim catcher threw the ball past the pitcher. But the shortstop threw home in time, and Robinson was out at the plate.I had to make a split-second decision, and I sent the runner, coach Kirk Robinson said. I wanted to make them make a play. And give Sequim the credit – they made the play when they had to.Because of Little League rules limiting the number of innings a pitcher can throw, Robinson was unable to continue on the mound. Heller came on in relief, but because she batted during Bainbridge’s sixth inning, she wasn’t able to warm up.Sequim took advantage of Heller by scoring two runs in the top of the seventh on walks. After that rough start, Heller struck out two.Bainbridge got two runners on in the bottom of the seventh, but was unable to score.It was as exciting a softball game as you could ever see or play in, coach Robinson said. We had our chances, but we couldn’t quite capitalize.Bainbridge met Mason County again on Monday, and registered a 20-10 win in a four-inning game.To conserve the more experienced pitchers for the weekend, Bainbridge opened with Ariel Hujar, who pitched two innings, and Anna Canfield, who pitched the third before giving way to Whealdon. The three combined for five strikeouts.Grant led the Bainbridge hit parade with three base knocks, including a triple. She walked twice, drove in four runs, and scored four runs.Heller was 2-3 at the plate with four RBIs and two runs scored. Whealdon went 3-3 plus two walks, and scored three times, including a steal of home. She also drove in two runs.Laura Hall had two RBIs on a double. Robinson drove in three runs on a single, a walk, and a beautifully executed sacrifice bunt. Hujar, Sarah Wettleson, Lilly Orrey and Canfield also had RBIs.11-12 stars on wrong end of routSometimes in sports you play to win. Other times, you play to learn.For Bainbridge’s 11-12 softball all-stars, this weekend’s district tournament at Snider Park in Poulsbo was in the learn category. While the scoreboard showed Bainbridge on the short end of two lopsided scores, the overall experience was positive.There were a lot of smiles. Their heads were held high, and they had a whole lot to be proud of, coach Jennifer Myers said.The island girls’ tournament opener against East Jefferson Saturday was a mismatch in every sense, as the 27-0 score showed. The EJ girls were at the upper end of the age spectrum, with only three 11-year-olds, while Bainbridge was at the opposite end, with only three 12-year-olds.The age difference was reflected in a size difference – the EJ girls were far bigger physically. And they come from a program with a long history.East Jefferson is always strong. They take a lot of pride in that program, Myers said. That’s where we would hope to be on the island in a few years.All EJ really needed was its battery of pitcher Caitlin Eldridge and catcher Stephanie Kirkendoll, both of whom displayed the size, strength and skill one would expect from a high-school player.Eldridge tossed a no-hitter, striking out 10 of the 12 batters she faced. Combining overwhelming velocity with control, she fanned the first 10 batters she faced without allowing a ball to be hit fair. Only a two-out walk to Stephanie Wagner prevented a perfect game.Kirkendoll paced East Jefferson on offense with two homers and a triple, providing EJ with more than enough runs, rendering the walks and sometimes-shaky Bainbridge fielding irrelevant.I didn’t see a lot of smiles after that game, Myers said, but I’m glad we didn’t pack up our tent and go home.The Bainbridge team was much more competitive in the consolation-bracket game against Sequim Sunday, holding the score close at 3-1 for three innings thanks to Ellen Boynton’s pitching. The wheels came off in the fourth and fifth, as Bainbridge surrendered 12 runs, making the final score 15-3. Boynton registered 10 strikeouts for the game.Sequim is always fun to play, Myers said. We stole some bases, and had some hard hits, but they were right at somebody. We lost that one – they didn’t beat us.Myers said she is looking forward to having most of her young team back next year. We’ll have some really fun winter workouts, and keep playing softball, she said. That’s what East Jefferson does. There is a real comraderie on this team. The girls are very close, and they had a ball. And we have a very dedicated group of coaches. So this season is over, but it’s not going to end for the girls, Myers said.”

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