Falcons at the State Tourney. Courtesy photo
YAKIMA—The Woodinville slowpitch team saw great success in its inaugural season, running off a 19-game win streak to claim the KingCo Crown and earning a trip to the 4A State Tournament in Yakima Nov. 1.
But Falcons were a bit out of their element dropping back-to-back games and were eliminated from postseason play.
The girls fell to West Valley 10-7 in their opening morning game for Woodinville’s first loss of the season.
The afternoon match saw the Falcons lose to Chiawana 10-5. With that second defeat, the season came to a close.
“The girls played very hard—they fought until the last pitch,” Woodinville coach Kim Benedict said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything more from them. They played amazing. Unfortunately, some of the teams from Eastern Washington have been together longer than we have and so they’ve got a little bit more chemistry and more experience with slow pitch.”
There was some déjà vu in the West Valley game. Woodinville trailed 10-7 heading into the bottom of the 7th inning.
It was the Kingco Championship game on Oct 26, when Woodinville scored four runs in their last at-bat to beat Bothell 11-10. But that same magic wasn’t there this time.
“We told the girls, `Hey, we’ve been here before. It’s nothing different,’” Benedict said. “And sure enough, we get runners on and we’re moving them around, but unfortunately we just couldn’t score quite enough runs.
“It was really cool to see them fight until the very end. And even though they didn’t come out on top, they never hung their heads. They were always in good spirits, always picking each other up. It was just a really cool experience to see how well the team gelled and the confidence that they had in themselves and each other playing in those games.”
For the return trip home, the team boarded two vans.
“Obviously they were quite exhausted from having such a long day down at the field,” Benedict said. “But they were still chatting it up, having a great time, laughing, giggling, telling jokes, and nonstop talking.”
Benedict said she’d look back at the season as an ideal situation with a team that bonded well together.
“They became a very close family with each other. No issues, no drama, nothing. And a lot of them have created new friendships that they probably wouldn’t have had that opportunity to do otherwise if slowpitch wasn’t a thing this year for them. So yeah, it was a cool year.”