West Seattle fastpitch downs Bellevue
By Gerardo Bolong
The temperature was in the 80’s at the Southwest Athletic Complex on Mon., May 14, but the West Seattle fastpitch team brought its own brand of heat to defeat Bellevue 8-2 in SeaKing district loser-out tournament action.
"Today is the day we played the way we're capable of," said Wildcat head coach Darryl Felix. "We didn't make errors, put the bat on the ball and got runners. I'm proud of the girls."
Throughout an up and down season, the young WS girls played even the top tier teams tough, but often one bad inning of self destruction decided games by a more lopsided score than the actual game action dictated.
On this afternoon, pitcher Anabell Watt joined the defense and the hitters to keep the Wolverines at bay.
Playing on their home field, the Wildcats staged a two-run strike in the first inning.
With one out, Parker Ellingson drew a walk. Lucy Mead followed with a ringing double to score the first run. After stealing third base, Mead scored on a one-hop wild pitch that sailed over the catcher's head.
In the next inning, Zoe Steers led off for WS by being hit by a pitch. Advancing on a wild pitch, Steers later moved up to third base when the Bellevue first baseman was unable to hold the infielder's throw on a ground ball play. One walked batter later, the next WS batter struck out. When the catcher threw the ball to the infield, the runner on third base ventured off the bag, drawing a throw to third base. Apparently trapped in a run down situation, Rosa Grossi beat the throw home to extend the West Seattle lead to 3-0.
Mixing pitches well, Watt crafted a no-hitter for three consecutive innings.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Wolverines mounted a threat to test the mettle of Watt.
Bellevue scored one run with two outs and had the bases loaded.
Watt induced a foul out to first base to minimize the damage.
In the fifth inning. West Seattle exploded to gain some breathing room.
Watt opened up by steaming a single through the middle. Ellingson singed a bad hop, RBI double through the right side and the Wildcat lead was 4-1. Mead pulled a double to right field, plating another run. Continuing the uprising, Sofia Sallas rocked a run-scoring double. WS scored additional runs on a passed ball strikeout and Sophie Wimer's sacrifice fly to center field.
To all intents and purposes, that sealed the win.
Watt and the defense stayed in control except for a lone sixth inning Wolverine tally.
For the game, Watt struck out eight batters by baffling them with a deadly change up and firing an occasional fast ball for a change of pace.
"I just kept my head in the game throw," she said. "I took a deep breath and kept going."
Co-captain Mead expressed her pleasure with how the team has progressed.
"As the season has gone on, the team has really gotten closer to each other," she said. "We put our heads together as a team and have been learning to trust. We have a lot of trust, now."
West Seattle (11-9) will put its trust into a 3 p.m. game against Bainbridge at SWAC in the double elimination part of the tournament on Tues., May 12.