KENMORE — Although the Snohomish softball team had a tremendously successful season, suffering just two regular-season losses and winning the Wesco 4A North title, the Panthers’ run ended just short of the 4A state tournament at the hands of Kingco opposition for a second straight season.
After losing to Inglemoor in last season’s Kingco/Wesco 4A crossover playoff, Snohomish was stunned by Newport’s Kaitlin Sahlinger, who hit a three-run home run in the first inning and the Knights never trailed in a 5-4 win at Inglemoor H.S.
“We had two opportunities to get (to state),” Snohomish head coach Lou Kennedy said, referring to the winner-to-state district playoff game against Lake Stevens and Saturday’s game. “There are only two games…to step up and take charge. Both games we played well and both games credit the other team with timely hitting, especially with home runs.”
Kaitlyn Purvis finished 3-for-4, including a two-run double in the third, and Anna Pisac hit a two-run home run in the sixth, but that was all the scoring Snohomish mustered against Newport starter Kathryn Wood.
“Kathryn Wood moves the ball around well,” Kennedy said. “She’s all about placement and that makes it difficult to square up.”
After Snohomish crept to within a run on Purvis’ double, the Knights restored their three-run lead with two runs in the fourth. Pisac’s homer gave the Panthers hope, but Wood prevented any further damage and retired Snohomish in order in the seventh to close out the game.
Although Kennedy was disappointed with the loss that denied the Panthers their first state appearance since 2000, he was pleased with his team’s performance over the course of the season.
“Overall, I’m pretty pleased … I’m very happy with the girls and our year,” Kennedy said. “We had some opportunities to do a little more. Our pitchers worked very hard. I was impressed with Newport. They were very disciplined at the plate.”
At Inglemoor H.S.
Alyssa Simons, Bailey Seek (6) and Morgan Greenlee. Kathryn Wood and not reported. WP—Wood. LP—Simons. 2B—Katlyn Purvis (S), Madelyn Shelby (N). 3B—Trysten Melhart (S). HR—Anna Pisac (S), Kaitlin Sahlinger (N). Records—Snohomish 21-4 overall. Newport 20-6.