Orcas softball: Friday Harbor double-header ends with head injury

Teammates cheered Emily Bodenhamer on as she tied the game 5-5 with a home run.

The Vikings’ May 5 double header against the Friday Harbor Wolverines began with an exhilarating 8-7 triumph in game one, only to end abruptly with a tragic head injury shortly into game two.

The Wolverines, the league’s top hitting team, were on track to win the league championship unless Orcas could pull back-to-back wins out of their helmets.

Game one

The Wolverines scored a run in the first inning; Orcas answered in the second with a series of four runs led by Alicia Susol with a double and Adria Garcia with a single. Ashley Klein and Emily Bodenhamer brought home pinch runners Huxley Smart and Sophie Thixton; then Lana Bronn shot off a hard single to bring home Klein and Bodenhamer in turn.

Friday Harbor hit back hard the very next inning with four runs, thanks to a triple by Hannah Starr and a double by Maggie Anderson, taking a 5-4 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Vikings trailing 5-4, Emily Bodenhamer smashed a hit deep into the outfield. Fans and teammates urged her on as she sailed around the bases for a home run.

Lindsay Anderson whacked a single, followed by Bronn on a walk; Brook Bruland and Aliviah Garcia brought them both home for a 7-5 lead.

The fifth and sixth innings were scoreless, but in the seventh a Wolverine double brought in two runs to tie the game 7-7.

When Bruland got to first on a walk, Smart subbed in and quickly stole second. A bunt by Aliviah moved her to scoring position on third.

“The Wolverines coach strategically walked the next two batters, hoping for a double play,” said head coach Scott Harris.

“But with Adria up at bat at a full count, with a keen eye she drew the walk,” scoring Smart to seal the win for the ecstatic lady Vikings.

Game two

“They opened game two with a thunderous display of power at bat,” said Harris. “It was the most impressive display of hitting I have ever seen.”

Bronn hit a homer; Nigretto, Bodenhamer and Aliviah triples Adria a double.

At the bottom of the second inning Orcas was ahead 6-5, when a Viking batter slammed a line drive that hit Wolverine pitcher Jean Melbourne directly in the forehead. It was a terrifying moment for all watchers as Melbourne was knocked to the ground, the ball ricocheting back against the backstop. EMS responders quickly flew the girl to St. Joseph’s for evaluation.

Harris said the next day that Melbourne is home and doing well, recovering from a concussion but expecting to be playing softball again soon.

The home game will resume Thursday, May 12 at 4:30 p.m.