The Jackson softball team had plenty of scoring opportunities in last week’s two Northwest District 4A playoff games, but the Wolfpack just wasn’t able to score the runs it needed to extend its season.
The Timberwolves opened with a 2-0 loss to Marysville-Pilchuck and then were eliminated by Stanwood 5-2 May 22.
Jackson stranded 10 runners, eight of which were in scoring position, against the Tomahawks. Seven runners were left in scoring position against the Spartans.
“We basically just didn’t hit in the clutch,” said Wolfpack coach Mike Moran. “We had runners in scoring position and we just didn’t come through. We played good defense. Our pitchers did fine. We came up short on offense when we needed it.”
Jackson was putting the ball in play, but the bounces didn’t go its way. Forced outs at home and a few base running mistakes hurt the Wolfpack.
“All in all what it boiled down to was not getting it done when we needed to get it done,” Moran said.
Moran nevertheless declared the season a success. Jackson (13-8 overall) finished fourth in the Western Conference 4A South Division. The Wolfpack lost three of its first four league games but rebounded for a strong finish.
“We accomplished the majority of our goals. We got to districts,” Moran said. “Obviously, we would have loved to advance to state. It just wasn’t in the cards. (The players) were very successful in terms of how much they improved.
“We started out shaky and we rode a big winning streak all the way to districts. It was a successful season.”
The Timberwolves graduate only four seniors. Moran ended up carrying a 16-player roster at districts.
“The future is good,” he said. “It’ll be a dogfight next sprig to see (who) is going to get some spots. It’ll be good competition.”
Both of Jackson’s pitchers – junior Meaghan Craig and sophomore Rachel Koenig-Eng – also will be returning. The two alternated for most of the season.
“They had a great season,” Moran said. “They kept us in a lot of games. They were tough, tough mentally.”