Rumor had it that Bailey Burger-Moore would start the season with a vengeance. And last Thursday night at Woodinville High School, the slugger’s wrath was on full display.
Burger-Moore slammed two home runs, including a walk-off in the eighth inning, to lift Woodinville to a 6-4 win over visiting Tahoma.
“I started lifting in the off-season and I knew that I needed to get stronger,” Burger-Moore said. “We had a hole in the fourth spot in the lineup. I really want to be that hitter. I want to step up and do what I did tonight. But it wasn’t just me, the whole team put in work in the offseason.”
Woodinville freshman pitcher Alex Nyberg started the game against this tough Tahoma team. Nyberg courted disaster in the first inning, allowing three runs. A time-out was called as Falcon infielders converged upon the pitching mound.
“She’s a freshman and that was such a tough position to be in,” Burger-Moore said. “I think she psyched herself out. But we got together as a team and said we’re here for you, we trust you. And for her to put her trust in us, she has never played with us before. We’re a new team this year [with new faces]. I’m just so proud of her for being able to put her trust in our defense and throw well.”
Nyberg bore down and got the team into the fourth inning without giving up another run. At that point she gave way to Rachael Rhinehart, who finished the game.
“I wanted to get Alex the feel of the start,” Woodinville coach Dani Tachell said. “Get the nerves out of her system, and that’s what we saw in those first few plays. She’s a freshman and it’s why she needed to experience that. Get that worked out and understand she’s got a great defense behind her. She did a great job bouncing back.”
Woodinville rallied to tie the game at 3-3, thanks in part to home runs from Burger-Moore and Molly Taketa. The game went into extra innings, and Tahoma’s Danika Dennis smacked a solo homer to give the visiting Bears a 4-3 lead.
Molly Taketa led off the bottom of the eighth for the Falcons. She quickly fell behind 0-2 in the count. But she methodically worked the count full before enticing a base on balls. Woodinville had the tying run aboard.
“To get the leadoff runner on is everything”, Tachell said. “It’s a momentum shift. We talked [in the dugout] about how it’s going to take one person to change that momentum. Who’s it going to be? Molly has always been a disciplined hitter. So when she goes 0-2, she’s not going to give the pitcher anything. She’ll be super picky and understand she needs to protect the zone. She got the job done.”
Moments later, Megan “Peanut” Taketa smacked a base hit to score her twin sister. This tied the game at 4-4.
Burger-Moore stepped up to the plate once again. And the junior jumped all over the first low pitch she saw, driving it deep over the center field fence for the game-winner.
“Peanut had just driven in the tying run, and I stepped up to the plate and told myself there’s no pressure, we’re tied up no matter what,” Burger-Moore said. “I got the pitch I was looking for, and I did what I have always done.“
Woodinville ran its record to 2-0 on the season. The Falcons open up Kingco 4A league play this Tuesday at Issaquah.