By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH — Snohomish senior Bailey Seek has made a name for herself for how dominant she can be in the pitcher’s circle.
In Monday’s 5-3 Wesco 4A North victory over Lake Stevens, Seek proved she can be just as potent with a bat in her hands.
Seek hit two home runs, including a two-run shot to straight-away center field in the bottom of the sixth inning that proved to be the game-winner for the Panthers.
It was the first time Seek has ever hit multiple home runs in a game.
“I don’t even know how to describe it,” Seek said. “I think it’s still sinking in. It’s a great feeling being able to help my team out.”
It was a great time for Seek to display her power. Both teams entered the game undefeated and are expected to be in the mix for a league championship. The win keeps the Panthers in a first-place tie with defending state champion Arlington and gives the Panthers a one-game lead over Lake Stevens with the early edge in head-to-head competition.
“Obviously it gives us a little edge and a little lead, but it’s a long way to the end,” Snohomish coach Lou Kennedy said. “It’s just for now.”
The Panthers’ offense got the scoring started in the bottom of the first inning with a two-out rally. The No. 3 hitter, senior Katlyn Purvis, became the game’s first baserunner by earning a walk and sophomore Alyssa Simons followed with a single to center field that moved Purvis to third base and brought Seek to the plate.
Seek homered to right field on the very next pitch, clearing the fence by more than 30 feet and scoring Simons. Purvis had scored prior on a delayed double-steal.
After retiring the Vikings in order in the top of the first inning, Seek had her share of struggles pitching in the second and third inning. Lake Stevens took advantage with a run in the second on an RBI single by pitcher Megan Berry and RBI singles by Payton Beaver and Tehya Harney in the third to tie the score at 3-3.
Seek gave up just one hit the rest of the way.
“She was just missing by a little bit,” Kennedy said. “I would say most younger pitchers would start to kind of get a little tight, but she’s a veteran and she’s a senior. She knew what she needed to do and she just pulled (the pitches) in another inch and started getting strike calls. That wasn’t just a mature performance, but it was gutsy.”
Between the second and sixth innings, Berry was just as good. After giving up three runs and two hits in the first, she allowed just one hit in the next four innings.
“She threw great, she really did,” Lake Stevens coach Sarah Hirsch said. “She has been. She’s been keeping the ball down and nobody has really been hitting her. Today was probably the most hits she’s had in the last four outings.”
Most of those hits did little to no damage, with the exception of the two Seek hit out of the park.
Purvis led off the bottom of the sixth with a single. Simons followed with a sacrifice bunt attempt that turned into a single and Purvis advanced to third on a throwing error by Lake Stevens.
Seek followed Simons, but wasn’t thinking home run initially. She first tried to score Purvis with a squeeze play, but the play failed when Purvis was caught in a run down and called out running out of the baseline.
Moments later, Seek got the pitch she wanted and drove it well over the center-field fence.
“I was supposed to do a squeeze the first time and obviously that didn’t work,” Seek said. “I was just looking for pitch to hit and she threw one right down the middle and I took advantage of it.”
Seek retired the Vikings in order in the top of the seventh to end the game.
Berry gave up just six hits, but Seek’s two home runs proved to be the difference in the game.
“She left the ball up,” Hirsch said. “She’d been keeping the ball down all day and they hadn’t hit it. The one (Seek) popped up in between the two dingers she hit was down and she flew it out. As soon as we put it belt-high, she hit it.”
At Snohomish H.S.
Lake Stevens 012 000 0 — 3 5 1
Snohomish 300 002 x — 5 6 0
Megan Berry and Tehya Harney. Bailey Seek and Natalie Campbell. WP—Seek. LP—Berry. 2B—Payton Beaver (LS). HR—Bailey Seek (S) 2. Records—Lake Stevens 1-1 league, 6-1 overall. Snohomish 3-0, 8-0.