Arlington softball falls in close game to Stanwood, looks forward to district rematch

STANWOOD — A second encounter with the undefeated Stanwood softball team served as a reminder to the Arlington girls that one play can make a difference.

Leading 1-0 in the fourth inning and with two outs, Stanwood’s three-hole batter popped up a foul ball, which neither Arlington catcher Torrey Herrington nor third baseman Lisa Allen quite got under. In her next pitch, the batter singled and another walked, setting up Corinne Stillman’s RBI double to tie the game. An infield error allowed a second runner across the plate, giving Stanwood the 2-1 lead they’d hold through the seventh inning.

Arlington struck first. Clean-up batter Amanda Lyon lead off the second inning, hitting a double down the third base line against Stanwood ace Brittany Jeans. With a single down first base to follow her, Allen batted her in for a 1-0 lead.

“Unfortunately, we were the team that had the error,” said Arlington coach Dan Eng. “If we hadn’t missed that pop-up, it would be 1-0.”

Lyon and Allen seemed to see something at the plate that most players in the league have missed, each hitting 2-for-3 against Jeans. While Jeans — like Arlington pitcher Christina Rayner — were able to get ahead in the count, Lyon and Allen swung aggressively against her, hitting a few fouls but lasting until they saw something they liked.

While Arlington and Stanwood have always enjoyed a traditional Stilly Valley rivalry, it has been intensified this year as the two teams have slugged it out for a piece of the league championship.

“It was all I thought about all day,” said Lyon after the game.

Though the girls lost both games this season to Stanwood by small margins, they’ve narrowed the gap each game and are looking forward to a meeting at districts.

“It’s not about the rivalry, it’s knowing we can beat them,” Allen said. “We’ll be tighter, we won’t have mental errors.”

Rayner pitched a complete game for Arlington, striking out 11 in six innings.

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