Blaine suffers season-ending upset

Published on Wed, May 28, 2014 by Ian Ferguson

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The Blaine softball team’s season is over after a stunning loss to Coupeville in the final round of the Tri-District tournament.

Blaine pummeled Vashon Island 32–4 in the first round of the tournament at Janicki Fields in Sedro-Woolley May 24, then lost to Nooksack Valley 12–6. The loss sent the Borderites to a loser-out game against Coupeville, with the winner securing a fifth place finish and a bid to the state tournament.

The game against Coupeville looked like a sure thing for Blaine. The Borderites had crushed the Wolves 20–4 in their prior 
meeting at districts a week before. When the two teams met then, Coupeville ace pitcher Bailey Foster was taken out of the circle early on because she had pitched in two games earlier that day. Blaine took advantage of the bullpen and won that matchup 20–4.

The second time around, Bailey was in form and the Wolves’ bats were hot.

“It was like a whole different team,” said Blaine coach Alisa Burk.

Coupeville scored five runs in the second inning, including a three-run double, which put the Borderites in an uphill battle to keep their season alive. Blaine scored once in the second and twice in the fifth. Three Blaine runners reached base in the seventh, but Coupeville ended the game with a double play.

The final score was 7–4. The Borderites ended their season 15–12 overall and 7–5 in the Northwest Conference.

It would be tempting to say the Borderites went into the game against Coupeville overconfident because of the prior drubbing, but Burk said that wasn’t the case.

“We’ve said all season that we go into every game with the mindset that we’re the underdogs. I don’t think we were overconfident. We didn’t play to our best potential, and they played a good game,” Burk said.

Lexi Greguski scored two runs, Lyric Berry scored a run and Mikayla Deming hit a solo home run. Alexis McElwain pitched the first three innings and Berry pitched the final four.

While the loss to Coupeville was disappointing, Burk said it has been a good season and she will miss the leadership of the senior class.

“It’s going to be tough watching these seniors go. Their freshman year was my first year as head coach, so we’ve grown a lot together,” she said.

Although the Borderites will lose a talented senior class, Burk added that the returning players have a bright future ahead of them.

“The seniors have really led the way, but we’ve built a pretty good program behind them,” she said. “We’re going to be a force to be reckoned with next year.”