MILL CREEK — Even though the Jackson softball team was attempting to give her a free pass to first base, Rayne Sylvester had no plans of going along for the ride.
Sylvester crowded the plate and reach out to hit a two-run single in the top of the seventh inning to give Lake Stevens a two-run lead and the Vikings held on to hand Jackson its first loss of the season, beating the Timberwolves 8-7 on Friday.
“I was expecting her to get to hit, but (Jackson head coach Kyle Peacocke) said ‘Lets put her on,’” Lake Stevens head coach Sarah Hirsch said. “She crowded the plate and hit it right back up the middle.”
Timberwolves senior Sarah Casel hit an RBI triple to cut the Vikings lead to just one in the bottom of the seventh inning and put the tying run in scoring position. But Casel was thrown out at a home plate attempting to score on a passed ball during the next at-bat.
The Vikings handed Jackson starting pitcher Sophie Frost (8-1) her first defeat of the season, compiling seven hits. Lake Stevens took advantage of five Jackson errors, many of which came with runners in scoring position.
“We had hits when we needed hits,” Hirsch said. “I’m sure the girls knew they were undefeated but nobody talked about it. We talked about what pitches (Frost) threw and how we were going to hit what she threw.”
A bases-loaded double by starting pitcher Megan Barry in the top of the first put Lake Stevens up 3-0, and the Vikings extended their lead to 5-1 before the Timberwolves rallied with a four-run third inning. Freshman Taylor Adams and senior Juliana Faulconer hit back-to-back doubles to bring the Timberwolves back into the game.
Sylvester allowed just two runs over four innings of relief to earn the victory for the Vikings. After the Vikings regained the lead in the top of the fifth, Adams responded with a solo home run for the Timberwolves to even the score in the bottom of the inning. The freshman has now hit three long balls this season.
“She crushed it,” Hirsch said of Adams’ homer. “She got in the box confident and on the first pitch she hit the ball a long way. It was a great at-bat for her.”
At Jackson H.S.
Megan Barry, Rayne Sylvester (4) and Tehya Harney. Sophia Frost and Kayla Ellis. WP—Sylvester (3-1). LP—Frost (8-1). 2B—Barry (LS), Taylor Adams (J), Juliana Faulconer (J). 3B—Payton Beaver (LS), Sarah Casel (J). HR—Adams (J). Records—Lake Stevens 3-2 league, 8-2 overall. Jackson 5-1, 10-1.