In the regular season the Spartans were undefeated, but in the post season, that doesn’t mean much.
After a pitcher’s duel against Camas in the Spartans’ first game in the 3A state tournament, the Spartans fell and two games later were eliminated by Mount Si, who had dealt BHS their first loss of the season earlier in the year.
Bainbridge’s Katie Raben and Camas’s Harli Hubbard each pitched well for an exciting first-round game.
The Spartans struck first when Raben helped herself out with a two-out RBI single into the right-center field gap.
Raben, and the outstanding Spartan defense, shut down the Papermakers through five innings.
In the bottom of the sixth, only one hour had gone by, and the score remained 1-0. Camas then decided to play small ball.
Camas bunted three straight times, and two Papermakers reached base safely.
Then with two outs, Camas’s Sarah Nidick came up in a huge spot. Nidick jumped on the Raben offering and drove it to the right field wall and two runs came in to score and just like that Camas took the lead.
Bainbridge couldn’t even the score and the Spartans were on the short end of a one-run game.
Because the way the bracket worked in the state championship, the Spartans couldn’t win the championship but could come back to take third, and that task started with Mountain View.
Raben and the Spartans didn’t seem at all discouraged by the loss to Camas.
Still, Raben was in a bit of a jam in the top of the third. With two on and no outs, Mountian View hit a weak fly to shallow center and center fielder Cali Moore came in and made a diving catch to surely save a run.
“I knew there was two outs and didn’t want anybody to score,” Moore said. “My dad told me before the game if I don’t go all-out I was going to regret it.”
In the bottom of the fourth, it was freshman Kate Kinney who came up big and drove in the Spartans’ first run.
Raben continued to mow down Mountian View and she got some insurance when Kinney again came through for the Spartans.
In the bottom of the sixth, Kinney singled a two-strike, one-out pitch to center and knocked in another run.
“The coach tells me to just have fun and not stress,” Kinney said. “We are treated as a player, not a freshman.”
The Spartans would go on to defeat Mountain View 3-0, and earn a rematch against Mount Si.
Against the Wildcats, the Spartans did something which was very uncharacteristic: Commit errors.
After two innings the Spartans fell behind 6-1.
The Spartans hadn’t showed signs of giving up all season and again Mount Si wouldn’t see anything different.
The Spartans battled back but the five-run deficit proved to be too much for Bainbridge.
The Spartans will be losing some of the power in the lineup next season.
Moore, Hailey Willmann and Taylor Greenfield will all be graduating.
But the battery duo of Raben and Emily Schneider will come next year; both as seniors. And the Kinney sisters, Kate and Erin will also return.