And WSHS wins Metro League softball championship 5-2 over Ballard at SW Athletic Complex pic.twitter.com/u9DixEx3E3
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 14, 2016
9:02 PM: The West Seattle High School Wildcats, coached by WSHS athletic director Trevor Leopold, have just won the Metro League softball championship for the first time ever, beating Ballard 5-2.
They were behind 2-1 going into the top of the sixth, when winning pitcher Gabby Wenn hit a leadoff homer to tie it up, and her teammates added three more runs.
ADDED 11:55 PM: Wenn’s performance seemed inevitable, as she was honored before the game as Metro League MVP.
But for a while, it wasn’t clear that this rematch of last year’s Metro title game would end with a Westside win (last year, the Beavers won, 3-1).
Things started well: West Seattle’s #4, Lucy Mead, hit a leadoff triple off Ballard pitcher Lauren King.
#9, Sofia Sallas, sacrificed to bring her in, and it was quickly 1-0 Wildcats.
But that’s all the scoring WSHS did until the sixth.
Ballard, meantime, got on the board with two runs in the bottom of the first, with Hannah Schubert hitting for both RBI’s, and that was it for the Beavers’ scoring for the entire game.
The second inning was three up, three down for both sides. The third also went relatively quickly except for a WSHS single by Sallas.
Moving on to the fourth, the game was intense but not tense. The between-innings tune was Neil Diamond’s 196x classic “Sweet Caroline,” and the WSHS girls sang along boisterously. Leadoff batter #13, Brynn Snodgrass, made it to second base on a Ballard bobble. She wasn’t easy to keep there:
But Ballard’s subsequent fielding eventually left Snodgrass stranded. The Beavers also got one runner on in the bottom of the fourth and left her stranded too.
The pattern repeated in the fifth – each team getting one player on base, but leaving her there; the Wildcats’ Mead hit a solid single to right field; Ballard’s Elizabeth Breckow bunted to get on base. But by the end of five, it was still Ballard 2, West Seattle 1.
That’s when everything changed, starting with Wenn’s leadoff homer off King. Snodgrass then hit a single to left field; #1, Berit Syltebo, sacrificed to get Snodgrass to second; then #16, Emma Atkinson, smacked a triple to center field, bringing Snodgrass in and giving WSHS the lead, 3-2.
Ballard changed pitchers, to #10, Megan Quigley-McAlister, but that didn’t stop WSHS.
Next up was #2, Rosa Grossi, who battled Quigley-McAlister in a big way before finally getting to first and bringing Atkinson in. Grossi in turn scored on Mead’s hit to center field, advancing the score to what became the final an inning and a half later, 5-2.
Now it’s on to the district tournament for the Wildcats, with their first game at 6 pm Tuesday (vs. either Seattle Prep or Bainbridge) at the Southeast Athletic Complex.
ALL-LEAGUE HONORS: Along with Wenn’s selection as league MVP, Coach Leopold shared this list of other WSHS honorees:
Emma Atkinson, 1B, Senior, 1st Team All-Conference
Lucy Mead, SS, Sophomore, 1st Team All-Conference
Sam Hemmert, C, Senior, 1st Team All-Division
Brynn Snodgrass, OF, Junior, 1st Team All-Division
Krista John, OF, Senior, Honorable Mention
Sofia Sallas, 3B, Sophomore, Honorable Mention
Carynia Smith, OF, Senior, Honorable Mention
Berit Syltebo, UT, Sophomore, Honorable Mention
-Photos by Patrick Sand; story by Tracy Record