Caitlin Dudley carried a 3-0 lead through six and two thirds innings as Blaine’s softball team was tuning up for the districts against lightly regarded Nooksack Valley. However, Pioneer McKinna Larson’s looping triple down the right field line scored two runs and had Nooksack’s tying run at third with two outs.
Dudley then reached back and struck out the final batter, one she had struck out twice before and preserved a precarious 3-2 northwest conference (NWC) win May 5 at Pipeline Fields.
The game was far closer than anticipated partly due to the strong pitching performance of Nooksack Valley’s Chelsea Pike, who pitched a complete game and often had to work out of jams.
She stranded two Blaine base runners each, in the fourth and fifth innings, giving up eight hits, striking out three. The Pioneers were also plagued by three errors.
Blaine put the pressure on Pike early in the first inning, starting off the game with three consecutive hits, the last one being an RBI single by Dudley to stake her to a 1-0 lead.
Then Pike settled down and nursed that lead into the sixth inning, when Blaine rallied for the winning runs. Stefawn Perrin doubled, Kailynn Aiken got a bunt single and Perrin scored on a throwing error.
After a pop out and a sacrifice bunt, Amanda Moore lashed an RBI single for the final margin.
The win raised the Borderites’ record to 11-6, 8-2 in the NWC. Dudley now has a record of 9-3 for the season.
3A power Sedro-Woolley shells Dudley and Borderites Sedro-Woolley’s Maddie Lynch-Crumrine handcuffed Blaine batters, holding the Borderites to one hit on the way to a complete game shutout as the Cubs hammered Blaine 12-0 in five innings at Janicki Fields May 7. The Borderites came into the game hoping to measure themselves against one of the better 3A schools in the state and on this day found themselves falling far short of the powerful Cubs who improved their NWC best record to 17-1 overall, 10-1 in conference.
Dudley took her fourth loss of the season, giving up 11 base hits while her defensive mates also struggled committing three errors.
The game kept a measure of competitiveness through three innings but with Blaine trailing 5-0, Sedro-Wooley exploded for seven runs in the fourth inning to put the game out of reach.
Stefawn Perrin was the only Blaine hitter to get a hit.