After a hiccup of a loss to Mount Baker and wins against Friday Harbor, Coupeville and Lynden Christian, the Blaine softball team secured third place in the 1A District Tournament and a bid to the Tri-District Tournament.
The Borderites played four teams over two days of district tournament competition May 10 and 11 at Janicki Fields in Sedro-Woolley, facing Friday Harbor in their first game.
“Based on the previous times we played them, we knew going in that we were probably going to win,” coach Alisa Burk said. “We played with confidence.”
Alexis McElwain hit an out-of-the-park home run, contributing to Blaine’s nine runs. Selena Pai hit 2–2 with 2 runs, 2 RBI and a double. Ashley Bolick went 2–4 with a run, an RBI and a double.
Bolick, Hanna Kiele and Jolee Russel pitched a combined no-hitter for Blaine. Friday Harbor’s one run was unearned and the Borderites began the district tournament with a decisive 9–1 win.
Burk said she thinks buoyancy from the win over Friday Harbor combined with a shutout the last time they faced Mount Baker made the Borderites overconfident heading into their next game against Mount Baker.
“I think we were flying a little too high, a little too overconfident and that includes me as well,” Burk said. “We should have been more calm and focused on playing good softball.”
Ashley Bolick threw for Blaine and hit 1–2 with an RBI. Selena Pai also hit 1–2. Mount Baker’s Aleks Toivola pitched the whole game and gave up only five hits. Blaine lost to the Mountaineers 4–1. The loss sent the Borderites to a loser-out, winner-to-tri-districts game against Coupeville May 11.
“Coupeville was do-or-die, so we put Ashley (Bolick) on the mound and we got it done on both ends,” Burk said. Blaine had nine hits to Coupeville’s five and played solid defense on their way to a 9–5 victory.
Lexi Greguski batted 3–4 with 2 runs, 2 RBI and a double. Pai hit 2–3 with 2 RBI and a double, and Bolick went 2–4 with 2 RBI and a double.
“It was clear we were the better team. We were able to have some short innings and Bolick kept her pitch count relatively low, which helped us,” Burk said.
The win against Coupeville sent the Borderites to a placing game against Lynden Christian, with the winner earning the third seed heading to tri-districts and the loser garnering fourth.
McElwain pitched four and a third innings, with Kiele coming in for relief.
“That was the most Alexis (McElwain) has pitched since coming back from her injury (a head injury sustained in a game March 22),” Burk said. “She’s getting stronger every day.”
Greguski went 4–4 against the Lyncs with a run and 2 RBI. Nicole Ortega hit 2–2 with a run and 2 RBI. Pai and Mikayla Deming each batted 2–4 in the win against the Lyncs.
Blaine will play in the Tri-District Tournament Saturday, May 18 at Kent Service Club Ballfields in Kent. They will face off against Cedar Park Christian Schools – Bothell Campus.
“I’m not really sure what we’re going to see from their pitchers,” Burk said. “I hear they consistently keep the ball in play, so we’ll have to play good defense. If we can step up our small ball and work them on the base path, hopefully we’ll do well.”