Bellevue fastpitch wins pair, into state semis
By JOSH SUMAN
Bellevue Reporter Staff Writer
May 28 2011, 10:18 AM • UPDATED
It took two extra frames, a pair of comebacks and 16 innings in the circle from Emily Fleischman, but the Bellevue fastpitch squad prevailed with a pair of wins to advance to the semi-final round of the 3A state fastpitch tournament on Friday at Recreational Athletic Complex in Lacey.
The first win, a 7-1 defeat of Bonney Lake, exorcised a demon from 2010 and was largely the product of an outstanding effort from pitcher Fleischman.
The junior starter had a 4-4 game at the plate and scored three runs while also tossing seven innings of one-run softball in the circle.
Bellevue coach Heather Tracy noticed a sense of belonging rather than awe from her team in this their second trip to state in the past two seasons. “You could tell there was just a difference in the energy and the confidence level ever since we got here,” Tracy said. Fleischman was superb.
Kamiakin was waiting for Bellevue after the win in a rematch of the 3A state title game in football. Trailing by a single run in the fifth inning, the Wolverines finally cracked the case of Braves’ starting pitcher Lindsey Kamphuis, a junior who was the Columbia Basin Big Nine Defensive Player of the Year. McCarthy got things going with a one-out single, but Kamphuis looked as though she would wriggle off the hook again after a strikeout.
Katie Savard had other ideas, however, turning an 0-2 pitch from Kamphuis into a run-scoring double that tied the score at one. Savard was 4-4 in the game with a run scored and RBI to led the offensive effort. Bellevue then took advantage of some dicey fielding from Kamiakin, scoring another run on an error before being retired to take their first lead of the game.
The Braves tied things at two in the bottom half of the inning on two Bellevue miscues in the field, but Fleischman and the Wolverines escaped without further damage on a pair of flyouts.
Bellevue took another lead in the top half of the seventh on three singles and a fielder’s choice, but watched again as Kamiakin knotted the score on a sacrifice fly that also left the winning run only 60-feet from home. But again Fleischman got creative to escape the inning and keep the Wolverines alive, inducing a ground ball back to the circle that she handled for the third out of the inning.
The International tie-break rule came into effect in the ninth, putting a runner at second base to begin the inning. But after two outs and a stolen base, the Wolverines still had only one runner on at second. Marika McCarty then advanced on a balk before another clutch base hit from Bennett brought her home with what would be the game-winning run. Fleischman retired the side in order in the bottom half of the ninth to preserve the win.