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Heartbreaker - Fastpitch season ends in playoff tiebreaker loss
SNOHOMISH One-run losses dogged the M-P fastpitch team all season, so it was a cruel twist of fate when the Tommies saw their season and postseason dreams end by the same margin against Snohomish.
This just stinks, M-P softball coach KT Allyn said of the 10-9 loss, which ended an impressive run of 15 consecutive district playoff appearances, dating back to the programs inception in 1992. This one doesnt sting, it hurts.
After stringing together three late-season wins, Marysville found itself in the May 11 game, a tiebreaker match for the fourth 4A Wesco North playoff slot, against a Snohomish team that had lost four of its last five games.
Things did not begin well for the Tomahawks.
Snohomish saw its first three batters turn hits into runs on the way to a four-run first inning. Panther designated hitter Breonna Chrisman put a big dent in the Tomahawks confidence with a two-RBI triple in the first inning and a two-run homer in the third.
Meanwhile, M-P batters dropped 1-2-3 at the plate.
In the bottom of the third inning, junior outfielder Anna West broke the spell Snohomish had cast with a big double. Although Jessica Tanigawa was struck out to end the inning, it marked an emotional change for an M-P team that was down 6-0.
The change was perceptible as the Tomahawks went on defense into the fourth. Pitcher Miranda Rosebrook allowed a walk, but the M-P infield nabbed three outs from four batters.
Rosebrook and first baseman Skyler Peterson had base hits to start the inning. Two outs followed, but the Tomahawk onslaught had just begun.
After battling Panther pitcher Alex Riedeman at the plate in her first at bat, DH Jessica Nielsen got a good look and a good hit on her first pitch. The double brought in Rosebrook and Peterson, narrowing the Snohomish lead to four.
Freshman second baseman Jenifer Rosie had a two-RBI double and West converted Rosies hit with another double of her own.
Technical errors by the Snohomish defense advanced West to third and home.
The Tomahawks had scored six runs to tie the game before Snohomish got the elusive third out.
An RBI single by shortstop Kristina Sherriff gave the Tomahawks their first lead of the game in the fifth inning. Doubles from Nielsen and senior Cynthia Meadows-Read put M-P up 9-6, and what had looked for three innings like a slam dunk for Snohomish seemed firmly under the Tomahawks control.
Third baseman Chrissy Atterson got Snohomish catcher Amanda Wenzels hit to first base before the runner, but the next seven Panther batters got on base. M-P found itself down 10-9 in quick order.
Rosie relieved Rosebrook on the mound, and though M-P gave up no more hits, the damage was done. With momentum back on their side, Snohomish gave up only one hit a Rosebrook single in the sixth and pulled off the win.
And as the finality of the loss sank in, heads drooped and tears welled on the M-P sideline.
I told them that I loved them. That I was proud of them for coming back, Allyn said to a team that loses four seniors to graduation. Dont leave with five percent left, with 10 percent left. Leave it all on the field. They did that. And aside from winning, thats the next best thing.
At Snohomish H.S.
Snohomish 4 0 2 0 0 4 0 10
M-P 0 0 0 6 3 0 0 9
M-Ps appearance in the winner-to-playoffs game was made possible by a win April 9 in Oak Harbor on the Wildcats Senior Night.
Appropriately, the 11-3 Tomahawk win could be attributed to heavy lifting by the Marysville seniors.
Designated hitter Stephanie Starcevic was 3-for-4 with three runs and a stolen base and pitcher Miranda Rosebrook had 10 strikeouts on the mound and two runs and stolen bases of her own.
Outfielder Cynthia Meadows-Read contributed to Starcevics first run with a sacrifice bunt in the fourth inning. She had two more hits late in the game, one of which was run in by courtesy runner Michelle Newman.
The teams fourth senior, Leah King, had a run and a stolen base as catcher Courtney Perrines courtesy runner.
Cynthia and Miranda developed mentally big time, head coach KT Allyn said of the two seniors evolution since they were freshmen on the last M-P team she coached in 2004.
Coming back as coach, I depended on them for leadership. I had them to lean on. I tell (the team) how it is, and they help me out big time.
At Oak Harbor H.S.
M-P 1 0 2 1 0 6 1 11
Oak Harbor 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 3