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Stilly girls fastpitch takes down TOC title
The June 2 ballgame between the Stilly Valley and Marysville Little League fastpitch teams came down to walks. Stilly Elite pitcher Lynsey Amundson held Marysville to only two walks whereas her counterpart Kaylie Sigfried conceded many free passes that turned into runs for the Elite.
The game took place at Granite Falls Perrigoue Field on a bright Saturday morning. Fans took their places on both sides of the infield, as well as behind the fence as the players were introduced by a public announcer. The game featured the two finalists in the Little League girls fastpitch Tournament of Champions.
Marysville was declared the home team and took the field first. Stillys Arianna Barrio hit a sinking blooper to right field that a hustling Haley Thompson chased down and caught near foul territory to start the game. It was a good start for the home side and Kaylie Sigfried took advantage by retiring two of the next three Stilly batters to end the inning.
Marysville drew first blood in the bottom half of the first inning. A walk to Sarah Newland put the leadoff batter on base. After a strikeout, second baseman Alex Plant drilled a pitch deep over the Stilly centerfielders head. Plant chugged around first base and wound up with a standing double as Newland scored comfortably on the play. Stillys pitcher Lynsey Amundson buckled down after giving up the double and struck out two Marysville batters to end the inning.
The second inning proved much kinder to the Stilly side. After a leadoff groundout, Allison Hammond walked, then Mikayla Holmes walked, then Arianna Barrio, Hanah Baird and finally Kristina Flick. The runners paraded around the infield, putting Stilly ahead 2-1 and leaving the bases loaded with only one out. Centerfielder Alexis Blakely stepped to the plate and unloaded them. She rocketed a ball up the middle to score two runs. Anna Whitehouse then tripled to left center field to score two more. First baseman Alexa Chase singled home Whitehouse to complete the damage, leaving Stilly comfortably ahead 8-1.
Amundson made quick work of Marysville in the second, striking out the leadoff batter and then getting a nice play from her first baseman Alexa Chase. Chase charged a bunt attempt by Marysville, turned, and fired a laser to first base to beat the runner by inches. It wasnt the only excellent defensive play of the inning as centerfielder Alexis Blakely made a running catch for the third out.
Stilly had momentum fully on their side and they continued their offensive onslaught in the third inning. Kristina Flick walked to get things started and Blakely singled her over to third base. Alexa Chase then singled home Flick and more walks followed to Allison Hammond and Mikayla Holmes. Then Arianna Barrio was hit with a pitch, then another walk, then Lynsey Amundson was hit with a pitch. After it all shook out, Stilly led 13-1 before trotting out onto the field to play defense in the third frame.
After that it was all over but the drive home. Stilly tacked on another run in the fourth to give them a final margin of 14-1. The outcome cemented Stillys first championship at the majors level of girls fastpitch. They arrived at the championship game after defeating Mill Creek 6-0, North Mukilteo 4-1, and Granite Falls 14-0. They conceded a grand total of two runs in the four game tournament.
Little League president Riki Shepherd was at the game to present the team with their victory trophy. Stilly will continue on to an All-Star tournament June 15 and are looking to end at the fastpitch Little League World Series.
Coach Jim Barrio spoke about his players.
Kristina Flick was a key asset to our team the entire year. Shes my go-to-girl most of the season. She pitched the first and third game of this tournament, threw 11 innings and gave up no runs at all.
The teams second starter Lynsey Amundson also performed admirably.
Lynsey Amundson pitched two games in the tournament and gave up two runs. She was consistent offensively as well. Shes a batter you can count on to drive in runs in the middle of the order.
Alexis Blakey in the five spot also came alive in the tournament. She ended as one of the RBI leaders for Stilly. Allison Hammond too was consistent at the plate.
When we needed a big hit, Allison always came through.
Arianna Barrio provided the offense a jump as well.
Arianna leads off each game getting on base, shes our offensive kickstarter.
Many of the girls have been on the team for two or three years and theyve contributed greatly to the success.
My veterans have done a phenomenal job helping the team grow.
It remains to be seen just how far the momentum will carry them.