by Kate Long and the Orcas Island Booster Team
We are sad to see spring sports coming to a close. Orcas Island baseball completed the season with a conference record of 7-6-1 and a state playoff road trip to Wilbur, Washington (a new field for the Vikings — population 884 according to Google). The softball team was a young team and close to making the state competition; they finished in mid-May at Darrington. Both teams shared outstanding road trips and many great memories — and are eager to get back at it for next season.
Orcas Island Golf sent four girls and two boys to the state competition at Deer Park north of Spokane. The Orcas girls as a team earned third place in the state. Burly Hildreth, Tayla Malo and Bethany Carter advanced to round 2 on May 25. Hildreth placed second in the state championship. Malo got 15th place and Carter took home 16th.
We cannot thank you enough for your spirit, support, and encouragement this year. Our student-athletes are so fortunate to have you as their biggest fans.
by Jefferson Freeman
Orcas Island High School
The Orcas Island Vikings have officially wrapped up their final seasons as baseball was eliminated from the state tournament.
The Vikings got their spot in the tournament after beating Darrington to get the third spot from the Bi-District. Diego Lago got the start for the Vikings in that match-up and did his job well, leading the Vikings to only their second double-digit win of the campaign. The game started off shaky as Darrington’s first batter scored to give them the lead and momentum. Lago had an answer though as he would lead off and score for the Vikings. The Loggers would be held scoreless in the second and the Vikings were in the driver’s seat. Five runs in the bottom of the second made it 6-1. The Loggers got a little back in the third, cutting the lead down to three. But the fourth inning saw the Vikings add 3 more. Darrington had nothing left in them after that and eventually, the Vikings extended to a 13-3 lead, and with it the win. Lago would throw a complete game. Eddie Cunnigham had himself a day: the first baseman reached base in three of his four trips to the plate including a triple.
This big win meant playoff baseball. The Vikings were given the 11th seed in the state, a spot lower than they deserved. On May 16, they arrived in Wilbur, Washington, where they would take on sixth-ranked Wilbur-Creston in a winner-go-home bout. The Vikings got off to about the worst start imaginable: they went 1,2,3 then gave up a quick 5 runs. It was an uphill battle from there. They turned it around in the second, scoring three runs and then added another in the third, but the Wildcats added two to their score, 7-4 after 3.
Orcas got one more, but so did Wilbur-Creston, making it 8-5 after the fourth. Orcas didn’t give up another run, but one in the fifth and one in the second only makes 7, meaning they needed a run in the top of the seventh, but with a runner on third, a hard-hit ball stayed a little too straight and would end up in the glove of the Wildcats center-fielder, ending the ball game 8-7 in favor of the home team. Hayden Schaefer got the start, threw 5 innings and struck out 7. Offensively it was all hands on deck for the Vikings. Eight of 9 players reached base, and 6 of 9 scored, but only TJ Liblik would have more than one run. Joe Stephens was the only Viking to surpass two hits, as he had three.
After all that they had gone through to reach that moment, it was a disappointing finish to the season. However, a team with no seniors this season was the youngest in the tournament and will come into next season read to pick up where they left off.