It seemed to most fans in Butte Falls that a game was unlikely under the conditions of May 25. But Maintenance Supervisor Jeff Gorman and crew performed a near miracle on the field at Butte Falls with the help of plastic sheeting and shop vacuums.
Rainy and cold all day, conditions didn’t improve much by 4:30 game time. During the first two innings, a light rain persisted, but the game proceeded on schedule. Umbrellas, heavy coats and blankets were the dress for the day for fans.
On the field though, things were a little warmer. In the bottom of the first, the North Douglas pitcher gave up walks to Sierra Kirkpatrick and Joli Hobbs before Butte Falls Mariah Moore grounded to the shortstop and a throwing error brought Kirkpatrick home for the first run of the game.
That score stood through the first four innings. Both pitchers had given up just one hit apiece by that time, when number nine hitter Scarlet Weaver singled in the bottom of the fifth for the Loggers. That was followed by a walk to Kirkpatrick and singles to Moore and Jess Driskell. Beth Sutfin walked on four straight pitches, and then Tamika Funk singled. Allie givens walked to load the bases with two outs but Weaver struck out to end the inning that she had begun.
North Douglas hitters, who had managed just two hits through the first five, suddenly woke up with two gone in the top of the sixth. Shortstop Kassidee Rice reached first on an error and Allyse Doudon, Kelee Frieze and Alley Burress singled to close the gap to 5-3. Logger’s pitcher Moore fanned number seven hitter Meagan Peterson to end the rally.
In the bottom half the sixth, the Lady Loggers went down in order, setting up a dramatic finish. North Douglas hitter Kaitlynn Rice, with two outs, sent a lazy fly down the right field line that hit the chalk and rolled for a triple. She then scored on a single by Newman to make it 5-4. Loggers pitcher Moore then worked the count to 1-2 on number three hitter Rice who popped up weakly to Moore to end scoring and the game.
Lady Loggers pitcher Moore struck out eight during the game against just one walk. By contrast, North Douglas pitchers issued seven free passes while striking out just four. Both pitching staffs allowed just six hits during the game.
For the Lady Loggers, Jess Driskell and Tamika Funk had two hits each and leadoff hitter Sierra Kirkpatrick scored two runs.
The win follows an undefeated conference season (12-0) and runs the season record to a very respectable 20-3 total. The next challenge for Coach Roni Berg and her charges was May 27 against Glendale in Glendale.
By Ralph McKechnie
For the Independent