Softball stay undefeated with another shutout gem from Bakker



Blaine softball continued its undefeated start to the season on April 9 with another blowout victory, this time a 17-0 thrashing on the road against Nooksack Valley.

Star pitcher Emersyn Bakker threw five scoreless innings, racking up multiple strikeouts in yet another win for the senior pitcher who recently signed a letter of intent to play collegiately at Edmonds Community College next season.

“Our pitcher-catcher combination, I wouldn’t trade them for anybody,” head coach Sean Miller said postgame. “I think [Bakker] is the best in the league, just like she was last year. That’s my opinion until someone shows me different.”

The Borderites haven’t allowed a run since March 15 in the first game of the season, a 9-4 win over Cedar Park Christian. Since then, Blaine has won four straight by a combined score of 56-0. The Borderites are first place in the Northwest Conference (NWC) standings, sitting at a strong 5-0 (4-0 NWC) record, the only team in the conference to remain undefeated.

But the Borderites will face its first real test of the season this weekend when they play a double-header on Saturday, April 13 against Hoquiam (9 a.m. first pitch) and Montesano (2 p.m. first pitch) at Mill Creek Sportsplex. Montesano are reigning state champions, and knocked Blaine out of the state semifinals last season. That double-header starts a string of seven games in eight days, a test of the team’s roster depth and stamina.

“Our schedule definitely gets tougher coming up,” Miller said of the upcoming stretch of games. “Teams not scoring any runs on us definitely helps. We don’t have to do very much, but we’re confident right now.”

The Borderites will return to Pipeline Field on Monday, April 15 at 4 p.m. to face conference opponent Sedro-Woolley, then play Lynden on the road on Tuesday, April 16, Ferndale on the road Thursday, April 18, then host Coupeville on Friday, April 19, and Lynden Christian on Saturday, April 20.

The Borderites hope to continue its strong start to the season, and hopefully find its way back to state playoffs.

“When you have a pitcher that dominant, it makes the game a lot easier,” Miller said of Bakker.

Boys soccer

After suffering its first (and so far only) loss of the season to Meridian at home on March 26, Blaine boys soccer bounced back for a 2-2 tie against Lynden Christian on March 28, a 3-0 win over Lakewood on March 30, and another 3-0 win over Nooksack Valley on April 8.

In the most recent win, which put the Borderites at 6-1-2 (1-1-1 NWC) on the year, Blake Koreski scored yet another goal in what has been a solid year for the forward, along with goals from Wade Lottimer and Matthew Hayes.

Head coach Gio Quesada made some position changes on the back line after a haphazard defensive showing against Meridian led to a pair of easy scores for the Trojans, who won 2-1 to give Blaine its only loss of the year.

“We’re building the team again after losing a lot of seniors,” Quesada said. “The game against Meridian was a lot of pressure. We didn’t handle that stress but it’s useful because mistakes are normal and I’m excited to see how the guys look better and better.”

One of those tactical moves by Quesada was moving senior Matthew Hayes from center back to the wing position, which already is leading to goals for the Borderites.

Since that loss to Meridian, the Borderites have outscored its three opponents by an 8-2 margin. Blaine has one of the better overall records in the NWC, but needs to pick up more conference wins to solidify its position atop the 1A NWC teams. The Borderites are still behind 1A rivals Meridian, who hold a two-point lead over Blaine in the conference standings.

The Borderites next game is scheduled Wednesday, April 10 at 7 p.m. (after press time) at home against Mount Baker at 7 p.m. Blaine then goes on the road to face Ferndale on Saturday, April 13.

After a trio of away games, the Borderites will have one more home game, Senior Night, on Wednesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. against Nooksack Valley.

Girls golf

In its first 18-hole match of the season, Blaine girls golf battled through windy and rainy conditions to earn an overall team win with a score of 610 at Loomis Trail Golf Course on April 8. The Borderites beat second-place conference rival Meridian by just two strokes.

Ellie Tanjuaquio led the Borderites with a score of 105. Other Blaine standouts included Thora Engen shooting a 113, Kijah Van Rijswijck with 121, and Hannah Phelps-McDonald with 131.

Head coach Connie Pilon said the first 18-hole match of the season is always a challenge for the team, but was impressed with consistent improvement throughout a long spring season.

“The girls were okay with their scores as it was the first 18-hole match of the season, but there is always room for improvement,” Pilon wrote in an email to The Northern Light. “I am happy with their progress so far and their continued commitment to improving their game and the continued encouragement from their teammates.”

Blaine’s next match will be held at Shuksan Golf Club, 1500 E. Axton Road, on Tuesday, April 16, first tee at 3 p.m. After that, the Borderites have just two more matches, both Northwest Conference matches at Whidbey Golf Club, before playoffs begin.


After spring break marked the unofficial halfway point of the Blaine baseball season, the Borderites weren’t able to lengthen its winning streak to three games, losing to Lynden at home on April 9, 8-1.

After a pair of strong wins against Burlington-Edison and Mount Baker that saw the Borderites score a total of 23 runs, the bats were silenced by a strong Lynden team that sits second in the conference standings among 2A NWC teams.

The Borderites are still sitting in the middle of the NWC pack, just below 1A Lynden Christian and Meridian. Blaine currently has a 7-4 overall record, but fell to 3-4 in conference games.

Blaine has a chance to make up some ground in the standings with a game against Meridian on Wednesday, April 10 at 4:30 p.m. (after press time) and on the road against Sedro-Woolley on Friday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m.

Starting next week, there are just six conference games remaining on the schedule before the District 1/2 1A tournament begins on May 1 at Sehome High School and Joe Martin Stadium in Bellingham.

A higher seed for the Borderites means – in theory – an easier path through the district tournament and state playoff qualification.


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