Softball: Late comeback propels Mavericks to 3-2 win over Grizzlies, and Wesco South title
Glacier Peak took a 2-0 lead in the second inning after Madalyn Ferraro hit a slow groundball with Lauren Nicksic on third and she beat the throw home. Coral Hiert drove in Abby Doney with a bunt single to make it 2-0.
The Mavs got one back in the bottom half of the inning when Kaitlyn Webster smashed a double to left field and Samantha Gregoryk hit a double one batter later, but starting pitcher Callie Bircher kept the potent Maverick offense down for the next four innings.
This was the first game all year that the Mavs scored less than five runs in a game. Finally, in the bottom of the seventh, the bats came alive. Senior Tiffany DeWayne earned an infield single by beating out third baseman Madalyn Ferraro’s throw. Hailey Costello followed with a double to left field to score DeWayne and then advanced to third on the throw home. Julia Reuble, with two strikes, sent a flare to shallow right field that fell in between the right fielder, second baseman, and first baseman for a base hit. Costello scored on the play to win the game.
Nina Kim led off the game with a bloop single to left field and got to second when Jocelyn Matheny laid down a sacrifice bunt. Kim got to third on a ground out by Bircher but was stranded there when Emma Bollinger grounded out to end the inning. Bircher struck out DeWayne to start the bottom of the first and then got Costello and Reuble to pop out to end the inning. She was dominating the first four batters for Meadowdale until the seventh: they went 0-10 with one walk and a reached-base-by-error. Pitcher Gregoryk had a great time against the first five hitters for the Grizzlies as well: 1-15 with one single and four strikeouts.
Glacier Peak struck first in the top of the second. After Aurora Ellison struck out, Lauren Nicksic smacked a fly ball to deep left field that dropped in for a double. Doney followed with a bloop single to put the runners at the corners. Doney stole second before Ferraro came up and hit a ground ball that stopped between Gregoryk and catcher Emma Helm. The two hesitated and Nicksic scored while the two failed to communicate. Coral Hiert put a bunt down with runners at the corners and beat the throw from third baseman Haili Taylor on the play. Doney scored on the play to make it 2-0. Gregoryk got out of the inning by inducing a pop out by Kim and a line out by Matheny. The Mavs got one back in the bottom of the second. Webster knocked a one-out double and then Gregoryk batted her in with a double of her own a batter later. Senior Ashley Brooke continued the rally with an infield single, but Taylor grounded out to end the inning.
In the next four innings, the two teams combined for just one hit and no runs as Gregoryk and Bircher found their grooves. The top of the third was an easy 1-2-3 inning for Gregoryk including another strikeout for the final out. For the second time, the 1-2-3 hitters for the Mavs went down 1-2-3 to keep the score 2-1, Glacier Peak. In the top of the fourth, Ferraro got on base with two outs after getting hit by a pitch, but Gregoryk came back and struck out Hiert with a full count. Webster knocked a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth and Kaylee Williams reached base when she hit a sharp ground ball that bounced off third baseman Ferraro’s glove. That put runners at first and second for Gregoryk and she hit a hard grounder to second baseman Matheny. Matheny tagged Williams and then threw Gregoryk out to complete the 4-3 unassisted double play and end the fourth.
Three straight ground outs came from the top of the Grizzly order in the top of the fifth as they failed to do anything. In the bottom of the fifth, Taylor reached first on a one-out grounder that got away from shortstop Kim and DeWayne followed with a walk. However, Costello tried to bunt the runners over but hit herself in the arm for the second out of the inning. Reuble weakly grounded out to end the fifth. In the sixth, after striking out Ellison for the second out, Gregoryk pitched nine straight balls and walked Nicksic and Doney. She recovered and got Ferraro to ground out to end the sixth. Helm led off the sixth by reaching first on an error and then Webster also reached on an error to put runners on first and second with no outs. Bircher settled down and got Williams to line out, then Gregoryk’s bunt was caught by the catcher, Hiert, and Brooke flew out to end the threat. T
Gregoryk earned two more strikeouts in the seventh. She started the inning by getting Hiert swinging and then ended it by striking out Matheny. That set up the Maverick comeback. Bircher induced a pop out from Taylor to start the inning, but after that, things went wrong. After an 11 pitch at-bat, DeWayne hit a slow roller to third and then beat the throw to first to put a runner on. Costello followed by hitting a line drive into center field for a double. DeWayne was waved home and the throw to the plate was high, allowing Costello to make it to third while DeWayne scored the tying run. Reuble came up next and got her bat on an 0-2 fastball and muscled a blooper to shallow right field. Somehow, the ball hit the ground and Costello came home to score the winning run.
With the win, the Mavs improve to 11-0 in the league and 14-2 overall. Meadowdale has won 12 straight and claimed the Wesco 3A South regular season title. The team plays again at 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 14 at Shorewood. With the loss, the Grizzlies fall to 8-3 in the league and 10-8 overall. Their next game is tomorrow at home versus Mountlake Terrace at 4 p.m. If they win, they clinch the No. 2 seed from the South.