By David Krueger Herald Writer
LYNNWOOD — Monday afternoon’s softball game between Meadowdale and Jackson quickly turned into a pitching duel between a rookie and a veteran.
Timberwolves freshman pitcher Sophie Frost took on Meadowdale senior hurler Alyssa Reuble, with Reuble’s Mavericks coming out on top 2-1 in a nonleague game at Meadowdale High School.
“Those (games) are why you coach fastpitch softball. It was a great game,” said Jackson head coach Kyle Peacocke. “Two really great pitchers battling it out. Both teams just trying to scratch runs across.”
Meadowdale, which found itself down 1-0 after the first inning, didn’t get a hit off Frost until the fourth, when the Mavericks had four hits — including an RBI single by sophomore Hailey Costello — and tied the score 1-1.
Ciarra Hart, another sophomore, hit an RBI double in the bottom half of the sixth inning to score Tiffany DeWayne, who scored both Meadowdale runs, to give the Mavericks the lead for good.
DeWayne finished 2-for-2 with a double and a walk for Meadowdale.
“We’ve been here before,” said Dennis Hopkins, the Meadowdale head coach. “We’ve had two or three games already this year where we’ve come back (late in the game). … We do just like we did last year. We play it one inning at a time, one pitch at a time. We don’t worry about what happened behind us. Just keep going forward.”
Reuble improved to 3-0 with the win. The senior has committed to play for Seattle University next year.
“Alyssa pitched a great game,” Hopkins said. “She’s pretty calm. She’s got it figured out. She’s headed to go play college ball next year so this is just warm-up for that.”
Meanwhile, Frost — who, like the Jackson team, has a 3-2 record — kept the Mavericks in check, getting out of a tough spot late in the game. Both teams threatened to score in the fifth inning, with Meadowdale getting runners on second and third base with one out. But Frost caught a line drive and struck out the next batter to end the threat.
“Sophia pitched her guts out. … She’s really stepped up and handled herself in a mature way for someone who’s a freshman,” Peacocke said of Frost. “Particularly, there were a few situations in the game where they had runners in scoring position with less than two outs and she’s able to get herself out of it. She’s tough and she’s only going to get better. It’s going to be a fun four years.”
Frost also helped herself out on offense, with an RBI groundout in the first that gave the Timberwolves the early lead.
“Jackson’s a great team. Well-coached and they have great players,” Hopkins said. “They’re just a great squad all the way through. They fought a hard battle and it could have went either way at any point in time in the game. Luckily, we came out on top in this one.”
Reuble also had to work out of a couple scoring opportunities for Jackson, including the final inning. Cassidy Gannon, who was playing in her first varsity game of the year, hit a double with one out and advanced to third with two outs on a fielder’s choice. But Reuble struck out the final Timberwolf batter to end the game.
Going up against a tough pitcher like Reuble was a great way for Jackson to end its nonleague schedule, Peacocke said.
“We’re trying to get ready for league play. You want to win the games but at the same time you want to learn some things about your kids,” Peacocke said. “For me, this was the perfect way to finish our nonleague (schedule) because we faced one of the best pitchers around and we can see how we’re going to be able to measure up.”
Jackson was led by leadoff hitter Sarah Casel, who batted 2-for-4 with two bunt singles and a run scored. Timberwolves second baseman Julianna Faulconer was 2-for-3.
One streak ended for one Jackson player in Monday’s game. Timberwolves senior Jessica Roy had hit a home run in each of Jackson’s first four games. But Reuble kept Roy inside the fence in her fifth contest.
Still, Peacocke was impressed.
“I don’t think she was thinking about it too much,” Peacocke said. “I think it probably gets in your head a little bit. That’s something I’ve never seen before. Four games in a row. She’s a great hitter. She’ll bounce back.”
At Meadowdale H.S.
Jackson 100 000 0—1 7 1
Meadowdale 000 101 x—2 7 0
Sophie Frost and Kayla Ellis. Alyssa Reuble and Rebecca Wright. WP—Reuble (3-0). LP—Frost (3-2). 2B—Cassidy Gannon (J), Ciarra Hart (M), Tiffany DeWayne (M), Rebecca Wright (M). Records—Jackson 3-2 overall. Meadowdale 4-0.