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Fastpitch: Wolves go 1-2, fall short of state title goal
Dreams of a 2011 Class 2A fastpitch championship repeat fell short for three Sequim seniors.
The Wolves (20-6) went 1-2 at the state championships on May 30 in Selah, losing in the opening round to Capital 4-1, before rebounding with a late-inning-comeback 6-5 win against Ellensburg in the consolation bracket.
But the hard-hitting Wolves couldn’t contend in a rematch of the West Central District Championship with Fife which won 10-1 in the evening game.
“We should have definitely gone farther than we did,” said senior first baseman Alexas Besand. “It was mentally draining. We had to push ourselves to keep our energy up. It was a lot of work.”
Fellow senior Makayla Bentz, who pitched all or portions of Sequim’s three games, said Capital’s first runs came from a three-run home run in the first inning but she struck out 13 batters afterward.
“We just did not hit at all that game,” she said. “The pitcher was definitely hittable. We hit it right to them.”
The slump nearly stymied Sequim against Ellensburg, too, until a late inning rally put them over the edge with a sacrifice fly by Mary Lu Clift that brought in Olivia Kirsch. Sequim was down 5-4 in the seventh before they sealed the comeback.
Against Fife, Kirsch was Sequim’s lone run with a solo home run.
Bentz said they wanted a rematch with Fife but they weren’t hitting the ball well against them either.
“They kept piling on the runs,” she said. “We were off that whole day.”
Besand said the three games were probably the worst of her time in high school going 1-9.
“But we had fun and everything happened for reason,” she said.
“It’s disappointing because Capital lost to Lynden who we creamed (7-1 on March 22). It’s good for Port Angeles moving on.”
The Roughriders lost to state champion Lake Washington 6-2 in the opening round but defeated Orting 9-2, Colville 8-5, and Fife 6-1 before losing 12-3 to third place finishers Lynden.
Besand said she was the first one to start crying after the final loss.
“All three of us (seniors) were emotional wrecks,” she said.
“Every senior wants to win state,” said Melissa Lewis, Sequim senior pitcher/outfielder. “We played well and I feel we did accomplish a lot but I’m glad with what we did.”
Bentz said at the beginning of the season the Wolves weren’t sure how far they would make it in the postseason.
“I think we’re happy to make it back to state,” she said. “It’s our fourth year in a row to make it and I don’t think any other team had done that.”
Sequim took fourth in 2012 but went 0-2 last year.
Lewis said they thought going into the state tournament in 2013 would be easier, which played against them.
“This year, we said if it’s going to be easy, we’re not going to do well. All teams that think that way and underestimating their opponents brings them down,” she said.
Besand said she still feels good about their season, too.
“I couldn’t ask for anything else to be different,” she said. “I love the girls with all my heart and they’re all my sisters.”
She’s grateful for the opportunity to play in Sequim.
“If I had the chance to choose again, I wouldn’t play for any other school,” Besand said.
“The support system is incredible and I’ve had so many opportunities in this small town. I’m so glad I live here and I hope younger kids can love Sequim as much as me.”
With a large core returning next year, the three seniors think the girls could return to state and make another run. Lewis said many of the girls have been playing together since they were 7 or 8 so the chemistry is there.
“They have a good shot at going to state,” she said.