By Chris Trujillo For The Weekly Herald
LYNNWOOD — The Royals were dropping like dominoes, and all was well in the Mountlake Terrace softball dugout.
For four innings, the Hawks’ defensive wall betrayed no weakness. But then, something cracked.
Lynnwood’s Erica Gott hit a sixth-inning grand slam over the center-field fence as the Royals came back from a two-run deficit to defeat the Hawks 5-3 in a Wesco 3A showdown May 4 at Lynnwood High School.
After facing just 12 batters through four innings, Mountlake Terrace pitcher Rene Bos started drifting from the strike zone. She walked fifth-inning leadoff batter Jessica Gott. The next batter, Meagan Crabtree, reached first base on a Mountlake Terrace infield throwing error. Jessica Gott scored on the play and the Royals narrowed the deficit to one run at 2-1.
“The girls knew she (Bos) was perfect through four,” Lynnwood coach Matt Rockne said. “We were 12 up and 12 down, but she (Bos) started to get a little wild. Overall, our girls never felt dominated by her (Bos); they don’t feel dominated by any pitcher.”
The Hawks’ breakdown continued in the sixth. Lynnwood’s leadoff batter Katie Eno reached base on the second Mountlake Terrace error. Jasmin Edwards followed with a single to shallow left field. With runners on first and second, Bos went on to walk the next batter, Jordyn Berg, to load the bases.
Terrace’s defensive wall collapsed with Erica Gott’s fifth homer and first grand slam of the season. Her booming hit, however, was nearly caught by Mountlake Terrace center fielder Minna Ward, who had eyes on the ball all the way until she crashed and knocked down the fence.
“My first thought when it came off her (Erica Gott) bat was to get my runner back on third base to tag up. But then you hear the crash of the fence. Your first worry is about the safety of the girl (Ward), but then you see her get up and then the reality that we came back from two hits you.”
Lynnwood pitcher Jessica Gott, who gave up five hits, earned the victory from the mound and improved to 12-5. The Royals won their fifth consecutive game and improved to 9-4 in league and 12-5 overall, entering the final week of the regular season.
Although the Hawks (10-5, 13-6) had already clinched a district playoff berth entering the game, their loss created an intriguing twist: the Royals, Glacier Peak and Meadowdale are now all within a game or two of the Hawks.
Mountlake Terrace’s Hannah Baisch hit a two-run double in the first inning to give the Hawks’ an early 2-0 lead. She finished 2-for-3. Hannah Wilcox hit a double in the seventh inning, bringing Ward in for the Hawks’ third run.