The girls softball team had their ups and downs this week, tallying one lopsided win against Bellingham and a loss against Ferndale to bring their Northwest Conference (NWC) record to 3–3.
The Ferndale Golden Eagles jumped out to a 5–zip lead in the first inning at home on April 15 before Blaine pitcher Ashley Bolick reined them in, blanking them for the next five innings. Ferndale pitcher Lauren Maley held Blaine hitless for four innings, and it wasn’t until the fifth that Blaine began its comeback run.
In the bottom of the fifth, Blaine was still losing 5–0 when Baylee Foster stepped up to the plate. She hit a leadoff triple and the next batter, Margaret Williams, walked to first base.
With runners on first and third,
Mikayla Deming laid down a textbook bunt. The ball trickled in front of the plate to halfway between the pitcher and the catcher – the sweet spot for the often attempted, rarely perfected squeeze play. Foster scored, and the throw to first went wide. Williams capitalized on the error, rounding third and making it home to turn Deming’s bunt into a double RBI.
“It was our first successful squeeze,” said head coach Alisa Burk. “I tell the girls when we make plays like that, it causes chaos for the other team. It was exactly what we wanted.”
With Deming on second, Selena Pai hit a home run that sailed over the left center wall. The two-run homer brought the score to 5–4, turning a rout into a tight ball game for the vocally inspired home crowd.
Neither team scored in the sixth inning pitcher’s duel. In the seventh, Ferndale scored two runs, putting the pressure on Blaine to score three runs to tie the game. Unfortunately, the Borderites only put one more point on the board, and Ferndale won the conference matchup 7–5.
“We were able to turn it around, but it wasn’t enough to come back,” Burk said. “If we could take away that first inning, this would be a different story.”
Burk gave a shout-out to Bolick, who batted 3–4 with two doubles and a run, and racked up 10 strikeouts on the mound.
“She was pretty phenomenal,” Burk said. “She could have easily given up out there, but the team came together and made it a good game.”
In an away game on April 11, Blaine crushed Bellingham 23–1 in five innings.
Pai and Dacia Blanco both hit 2–3 with two RBI. Bolick pitched all five innings for Blaine, holding the Red Raiders to one hit. Yet to win a game this season, Bellingham committed 11 errors in the game.
The Borderites take on Meridian (1–3 NWC) in an away NWC game Friday, April 19.