Highland Christian falls to Quilcene

Highland Christian pitcher Esther Brown pitches to a Quilcene batter during their May 14 playoff game.  - Lauren Salcedo
Highland Christian pitcher Esther Brown pitches to a Quilcene batter during their May 14 playoff game.
— image credit: Lauren Salcedo

ARLINGTON - An unusual season ended tough for the Highland Christian softball team during their May 14 and May 16 play-off games against Quilcene. The Knights suffered a 10-0 loss against the Rangers on May 14.

The loss was not for lack of trying, however. After Quilcene scored two runs in the top of the second inning, the Knights had bases loaded in the bottom of the second but a strikeout left them with no runs scored. Highland Christian’s pitcher Esther Brown was able to get three outs in the top of the third, despite two base hits from Quilcene. In the bottom of the third, the Knights had runners on first and second and were close to getting their bases loaded but the third out kept them out of runs again.

Strikeouts became the issue for the Knights, as the Rangers’ pitcher had inconsistent throws — walking several batters to first — and the girls just didn’t make enough hits on the fair pitches.

“Our hitting was not what it should have been. They didn’t hit the ball enough,” said head coach Louie Quesnell. “This was an unusual season. We had a lot of distractions this year even though we had a stronger team.”

The Knights lost their last game in an away game against Quilcene on Wednesday, a close 3-2 loss in extra innings, missing out on a chance of making it to the state championships.

“The teams we played this season are as equal or better than we are,” said Quesnell. “It was certainly disappointing to lose that game against Quilcene on Wednesday.”

Quesnell said that the team didn’t always play with each element of the game successfully.

“It’s just execution,” said Quesnell. “You have to have three elements — good fielding, good throwing and good hitting. And pitching too, of course. But you can’t have one without the other.”

The coach said he hoped for more passion from the players.

“You can teach all the skills you need to win, but if the players don’t have that passion and dedication, you can’t win,” he said. “We are going to try something different next season by putting together a fall training program for the girls.”

Due to the small size of the school, Highland Christian has never before hosted tryouts for the softball team. Quesnell is hoping that a training program will ultimately lead to a larger pool of players with the necessary skills. Quesnell also noted that there are two players returning next season who will be an integral part of the team’s success — junior Brooke Hernandez and freshman Chloe Brown.

“Those two players are definitely coming back,” said Quesnell. “They are both very talented.”

This season marks the end of high school softball for Highland Christian seniors Alesha Baughman, Esther Brown and Toni Forbis. Forbis switched positions half-way through the season and managed a successful year.

“We changed her position from outfield to third base,” said Quesnell. “She did an excellent job, she really did. She kept us in a lot of ball games.”

Despite the disappointment of two losses, Highland Christian played a strong season.

“When it comes down to it, you never really know,” said Quesnell. “It’s all about wins and losses.”


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