The Vikings softball team decimated La Conner in a five-inning, 13-0 game to carry off the bi-district championship title in Stanwood last weekend.
“We played together as one and we really wanted the win,” said senior player Brooke Bruland.
The crushing win shows off the impressive maturation of a young team made up of two freshman and two sophomore starters, with only two of last year’s varsity players returning to play the same positions.
“The girls were just absolutely on fire,” said coach Scott Harris. “Amazing pitching by Adria Garcia was a big factor, along with great hitting and base-running by the rest of the team. Everybody did something.”
Garcia pitched a smoking one-hitter, felling La Conner batters like ninepins.
The Vikings came out of the box ready to go, sending in five runs the first inning. Highlights included a two-run single by Alicia Susol and a one-run triple by Garcia.
During inning two Orcas notched two more runs on a homer blasted by Lana Bronn.
The third inning brought three more K’s by Adria. The Vikes put three more runs on the board with a double by Emily Bodenhamer and one-run singles by Lindsay Anderson, Bronn and Bruland.
In the fourth Viking defense faced only four batters, with two strikeouts by Garcia.
In classic three up, three down fashion Orcas took down three batters in a row, with a pop fly catch by Bella Nigretto.
The Vikings tacked on three more runs, with a one-run double by Bronn.
Orcas capped the game off defensively in the fifth, holding La Conner scoreless to earn the district title. The game ended early due to the 10-run lead “mercy rule.”
“The game was great – one of the best games my team and I have played,” said Garcia. “I know that going into state we have nothing to worry about because we are now able to do anything as long as we stick together like we did at districts.”
State champs up next
Next up for the team is state championships in Yakima this Friday and Saturday, May 27-28.
“We as a team are catching our rhythm at the right time,” said Harris. “We are on a win streak. We are playing very solid, we’re hitting the ball extremely well right now as a team. When your number eight hitter is hitting triples and your number six hitter is hitting home runs, it’s a sign that we’re hitting the ball really well.”
Harris said he couldn’t be more proud of the girls’ hard work and determination. This year he deliberately scheduled a slew of difficult games for the team, pitting them against larger schools.
The team’s four seniors – Bruland, Anderson, Bodenhamer and Garcia – have competed at state every year of their high school softball careers, said Harris. “That’s a pretty impressive feat.”
The team has broken school records this year, as well: Bronn, with 39 RBIs – “a team record by a LONG way,” said Harris – Bruland, with 22 walks; and Bodenhamer, with 43 stolen bases.
“She is just very lethal to the other team on the base path,” said Harris of Bodenhamer.
Garcia is closing in on her own record of 164 strikeouts, with 156 to date.
On the other hand, Harris said, “The state tournament is about two things: skill and talent, and the luck of the draw. We got a horrible draw.” The Vikings’ first game will be against defending 2B state champions, Pe Ell, and which has lost just one player from last year’s champion team.
“We’re gonna have to play well to reach our goals,” said Harris.
“I believe state will give us a good chance to prove ourselves to be a competitive team that we are,” added Bruland.