MARYSVILLE — Marysville Pilchuck softball coach Aaron Zachry has told his team it has to do three things in order to win ballgames: pitch well, play good defense and hit the ball on offense.
Friday afternoon, the coach said his team was 1-for-3.
The Tomahawks struggled early behind pitcher Jordan Willard with five errors in the first two innings. In a battle of the top two teams in Wesco 3A North and South, the miscues helped give Meadowdale the upper hand, as the Mavericks defeated the Tomahawks 8-1 at Marysville Pilchuck High School.
“That’s what we discussed, we didn’t come in focused to play and that’s what happens,” Zachry said. “We have to do three things to win ballgames and we’ve been talking about it all year. … If we don’t do those three things we’re going to lose.”
Meadowdale capitalized on the Marysville Pilchuck errors, putting up three runs in the first inning and two in the second. Getting the first-inning lead was crucial for the Mavericks, who wanted to put themselves in front of the Tomahawks early.
“We want to put the home team behind,” Meadowdale head coach Dennis Hopkins said. “It’s always harder to come from behind. The more you can get them behind, the harder it is.”
In the top half of the first, two Tomahawks errors resulted in runs for the Mavericks, including one that allowed Meadowdale’s Emma Helm to score after she hit an RBI triple. An error on the throw gave Helm and easy pass across home to bolster the Mavericks’ lead.
“It started right from the beginning,” Zachry said. “The first inning, the leadoff batter gets on (followed by) a mistake and another mistake. A couple hits mixed in there and we’re down 3-0.”
Meadowdale added to its total in the second inning with an RBI double by Tiffany DeWayne and a two-run single by starting pitcher Sam Gregoryk.
“Meadowdale’s a good team. That’s why they’re No. 1 in the South,” Zachry said. “They’ve got good pitching and hit the ball well. I believe we’re better than what we just showed today, but that’s how it goes.”
Tiffany DeWayne batted 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Gregoryk finished 2-for-4 with two RBI to lead the Mavericks, who had seemingly everything going their way early on — including a triple play to end a Marysville Pilchuck scoring threat in the bottom of the first inning.
With two runners on and nobody out, Gregoryk got a lineout that she was able to get her glove on. She doubled up the runner at first base and got the ball back from first baseman Ashley Brooke.
Gregoryk then saw the Tomahawk runner at second a few steps away from the base — apparently unsure if the inning was over — and threw to tag her out, and end the inning.
“That was a good omen,” Hopkins said. “Triple plays don’t happen very often. Even though it was kind of a goofy triple play, it was still a triple play.”
Zachry called the play a “real killer” for Marysville Pilchuck.
“We end up getting no runs,” Zachry said, “which, first and second with nobody out, our team should get a run or two at least with the (Nos.) 3-4-5 hitters up.”
Gregoryk cruised the rest of the way, scattering five hits and striking out five. Her biggest trouble came in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Marysville Pilchuck broke up the shutout with an RBI groundout by Kylie Lopez.
“That’s about her standard pitching. She’s coming into her own. She’s still fairly young. Both our pitchers are,” Hopkins said, noting that Gregoryk and Julia Reuble, the Mavericks’ other starting pitcher, are both sophomores.
Hopkins said that first-place Meadowdale (5-0 league, 7-2 overall) won’t overlook anyone as it works its way through the Wesco 3A North teams.
“We’ve just got to keep playing our game, one pitch at a time,” Hopkins said. “Everybody’s competitive this year. This is a good team, and the next one could take you down.”
Marysville Pilchuck (4-1, 7-4) hopes to rebound from the loss. After the game the players and coaches had an extended meeting in left field as they tried to regroup in the wake of the tough loss.
Zachry thinks the Tomahawks will be just fine.
“We just went out and had a little discussion and they know they’re accountable,” Zachry said. “We win as a team, we lose as a team. We’re OK. We had a game earlier in the season, kind of like this, and we’ve played well since then. We’ll be all right.”
At Marysville Pilchuck H.S.
Meadowdale 320 210 0 — 8 14 0
Marysville Pilchuck 000 001 0 — 1 5 6
Samantha Gregoryk and Emma Helm. Jordan Willard and Kylie Lopez. WP–Gregoryk. LP–Willard. 2B–Tiffany DeWayne (Me), Julia Reuble (Me), Hannah Larson (MP). 3B–Helm (Me). Records–Meadowdale 5-0 league, 7-2 overall. Marysville Pilchuck 4-1, 7-4.