With a freshman on the mound pitching in her first high school game ever, the Blaine softball team opened their season with a gem of a game against Squalicum.
Lyric Berry pitched all five innings for the Borderites in the away game March 21. She tallied eight strikeouts and no walks, and the team went on to win the non-conference matchup 14–1.
“Our freshman pitcher did an amazing job in the circle, and we played a lot of good defense behind her,” coach Alisa Burk said.
The Borderites were error-free through all five innings, a rare feat for the first game of the season when most teams are
shaking off the dust. On offense, Blaine had 11 hits, 14 runs-batted-in (RBI) and only two strikeouts. Baylee Foster hit a double and three RBI, Lexi Greguski went two for four with two RBI and Mikayla Deming hit a triple for an RBI.
“It was a good win and a good confidence boost for us heading into the season,” Burk said.
The Borderites were scheduled to take on Lynden Christian at home March 25 but the game was rescheduled for Wednesday, March 26 due to rain in the forecast.
This year the Borderites are coming off of a season in which they won 17 of 26 games and went to the Tri-District tournament. Rival Mount Baker ended Blaine’s postseason run even though the Borderites had beaten the Mountaineers in the regular season.
“It’s safe to say we’re going to have it out for Mount Baker this year,” Burk said. “They knocked us out and went on to state, but we lost to a really good team. They’re looking strong again this year, with really good hitting.”
The Borderites aren’t looking too shabby themselves. Pitching will be a strong point: senior right-hander Alexis McElwain and junior left-hander Hannah Kiele will lead the way, Burk said.
“We have a strong right-hander and a crafty left-hander,” Burk said of McElwain and Kiele. Jolee Russell, Riley Miller and Berry will round out the bullpen.
At bat, Blaine brings some talented hitters back from last year’s team. Lexi Greguski, who led last year, is one of them.
“She’s stronger than ever,” Burk said, adding that she might be moved further down the lineup where her power will hopefully drive in more runs. Selena Pai and Foster are two other batters that have “really stepped up,” Burk said.
With spring break approaching, the Borderites have a fairly relaxed schedule for the next two weeks. Their alumni game is scheduled for Wednesday, April 2 at 5:30 p.m. to allow alumni who finish work at 5 p.m. to make it.
The first Northwest Conference action takes place this Friday, March 28 at home against Burlington-Edison, but the next three games will be non-conference. The Burlington-Edison game begins at 4:30 p.m.