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Softball | Bainbridge storms into playoffs
In her first appearance on the mound facing Holy Names, senior Haylee Baker showed the 2009 runner-ups that Bainbridge’s state championship was no accident.
Baker threw a no-hitter – her second of the season – leading the second-ranked Spartans to a 13-1 victory over Holy Names Tuesday.
“I was surprised, but it felt good,” Baker said. “I thought it would be a lot closer game.”
“They couldn’t touch her,” coach Liz McCloskey said.
Baker isn’t the only formidable pitcher in Bainbridge’s arsenal. Senior Lauren Reichert is 5-1 this season and sophomore Hailey Willmann has gone 3-0.
Baker and Reichert will see “most of the time on the mound” in the post-season, McCloskey said.
“It’ll be really where we fit defensively – the best rotation for us,” she said. “Lauren and Haylee both have the knowledge of the playoffs and what it takes to win and whether we go with one or the other, they’re both going to know.”
Bainbridge and Holy Names had a rematch scheduled for Wednesday, but the game was postponed due to rain. Holy Names decided to forfeit in lieu of rescheduling, BHS Athletic Director Annette Duvall said.
The next time Bainbridge and Holy Names would meet is in the Metro League championship.
“(The win) doesn’t change my opinion about the team,” Baker said. “They’re going to be angry after today. It’s going to be intense.”
With Holy Names’ forfeit, Bainbridge finished league play 15-0 (17-1 overall) and clinched the team’s third consecutive division title.
“It’s going to be big for us going into the Metro playoffs being the team to beat, yes,” McCloskey said. “But I think for the last three years we have been the team to beat. Down the stretch – the way the kids have been hitting the ball – it helps their confidence.”
Bainbridge has three non-league games scheduled in the next two weeks.
The team will play Central Kitsap, from the 4A Narrows League, Friday and May 17. Central Kitsap is currently 9-4 in league and 12-5 overall.
The Spartans will also celebrate their seniors at the team’s home game on Friday, even though Bainbridge has home games scheduled Monday and Wednesday.
The Spartans will graduate just two players: Baker and Reichert.
Baker plans to play softball at Bellevue Community College for two years then transfer to Western Washington.
Reichert has committed to Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore.
The Spartans will take on undefeated Adna High School of Chehalis, the defending 2B state champion, Monday.
Adna is led by four-year starting pitcher Jessika-Jo Sandrini, who has signed with Siena College in New York. Sandrini was named the 2B Player of the Year as a junior.
Bainbridge will host the fifth seed from the Mountain Division or the fourth seed from the Sound Division in the first round of the Metro playoffs at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
The Spartans will play their second game against Central Kitsap May 17, before the district tournament.
The top four teams from the May 20-21 district tournament will advance to state tournament May 28-29.