Jackson tops Monroe to stay unbeaten in league play

MILL CREEK — For the final five innings of Friday’s Wesco 4A softball game between Jackson and Monroe, the Bearcats’ defense was perfect.

It was the first two innings that proved to be their demise.

The Timberwolves, who improved to 5-0 in league and 10-1 overall, took advantage of three errors committed by Monroe in the first two innings to take a 2-0 lead and held on for a 3-1 victory.

Jackson has a one-game advantage over Snohomish for first place, but Timberwolves head coach Kyle Peacocke expects the league to be a fight to the finish.

“Us, Monroe, Lake Stevens and Snohomish are all really good teams and evenly matched,” he said. “Every game is going to be a battle between those teams. We play them all three in a row and it was good to get the first one and get a win under our belt.”

Conversely, Monroe had to play Snohomish and Jackson this week after an 8-0 start and dropped both games. Bearcats head coach Mike Birch doesn’t seem to have any doubt that his team can get back to its winning ways.

“We’ve always been a team that has kind of peaked towards the end of the season,” Birch said. “We obviously came out of the box pretty hot and we’ve got a little lull right here, but we’ll just keep trying to turn that around. Hopefully we’ll peak towards the end just like we have in the last couple of years and that’s what we want to do anyway.”

Friday’s game featured two of the best pitchers in the league, Jackson junior Sophie Frost and Monroe freshman McKenzie Schulz.

Schulz gave up just two hits in the first five innings, including striking out the side in the fourth, but Jackson still managed to put up three runs by taking advantage of the Bearcats’ defensive mistakes.

Frost was just as good, scattering three hits in the first five innings.

“Sophie is a great pitcher,” Birch said. “She moves the ball around really well and her location is spot on. It was really good tonight. She was getting us with the inside pitch. I think it was probably a backdoor curve.

“That was killing us.”

The Bearcats finally got something going offensively in the top of the sixth inning when the first three batters were able to record a hit, but Frost settled down and kept the damage to a minimum allowing only one run.

An inning earlier it looked like Schulz would lead off with an extra-base hit, but Allison Endreson made a difficult catch on the run and Frost took care of the rest.

If Endreson’s first catch wasn’t the play of the game, her catch in the top of the seventh inning was. With a runner on first, Endreson ran down another ball in center field, this time turning around and firing the ball to first base to pick off Alyson Roberson before she could get back to the bag.

“Our center fielder, Allison Endreson, I thought she had a heck of a game,” Peacocke said. “She’s new to center field, but she’s really been working her tail off and she had a fantastic game.

“In fact, I gave her a game ball afterwards because I thought that was kind of a game-changing play,” Peacocke added, referring to the running catch made on the ball hit by Schulz.

The game was delayed briefly after Roberson was picked off at first. Roberson, who collided with first baseman Taylor Adams on the play, appeared to be fine initially, but moments later the paramedics were called and Roberson was taken away in an ambulance shortly after the game concluded.

At Jackson H.S.

Monroe 000 001 0 — 1 7 3

Jackson 110 010 x — 3 5 0

McKenzie Schulz and Morgan Allen. Sophia Frost and Kayla Ellis. WP—Frost. LP—Schulz. 2B—Kiley Ochoa (M). Records—Monroe 3-2 league, 8-2 overall. Jackson 5-0, 10-1.

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