After the new RPI rankings came out Monday morning with EvCC Softball ranked #13 (top #16 qualify for post season) the Trojans knew that every one of their final 10 games would have a significant impact on whether or not their season is extended or ended on May 13th. The Trojans last faced Highline back in mid March, narrowly losing game one, 7-6, and dropping the second game in a 5 inning 11-3 loss.
But home field advantage and winning 4 of your last 6 can build confidence and the Trojans showed that through the first five innings in Game One against the Thunderbirds building a 4-0 lead. Starting pitcher Cathy Zaragoza had a beautiful two-hit ball game going until two walks and a hit by pitch would load the bases in the top of the 6th. High winds would cause a couple of miss-played balls in the outfield for EvCC, and some timely hits by the Highline offense gave them a 5-4 lead. Both teams would go scoreless in their next half innings, so it would come down to a last chance bottom of the 7th for Everett still down by a run.
Aly Roberson would lead things off with a single to apply the early pressure and the next batter Ciara Harding would move Roberson to 2nd base scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. NWAC batting average leader, Megan Parsley came to the plate and flied out to left field but an errant throw back in to second allowed Roberson to advance to 3rd. With two outs Cathy Zaragoza was the last chance. With a 2-2 count she hit a ground ball to 3rd but another Highline throwing error, this time to first allowed Cat to be safe and the run to score tying the game. Next batter Lizzy Dillard put a charge in the ball to deep right center but the Highline outfielder made a great running catch to end the inning and send it into extras for the first time this season.
After a quick one, two, three top half of the 8th the Trojans came to the plate with the bottom half of their order. Brittnee Harvill lead things off with her second hit of the ball game, a single right back up the middle. Once a gain a sacrifice bunt, this time by Cassidy Conrad would move the winning run up to 2nd base. This game was bound for a wild finish, as the next batter, Shaley Salis popped out in foul territory and on what should have been a base running error turned into a walk off throwing error. Harvill was caught in a run down after a late decision to tag off of the catch in foul territory. The throw to third would go into the Highline dugout, which gave Harvill the pass to home and winning the game 6-5. Watch the entirety of that play Here.
Game two did not have near the theatrics of game one, but still contained plenty of excitement if you were a Trojan fan. Highline got an early run in the 1st, but Everett responded with 5 big runs in the bottom half of the inning and proceeded to score 1 in the 2nd, 2 in the 3rd, and 3 in the 4th to impose the 8-run rule, winning 11-3 after 4.5 innings. Seven of the ten EvCC batters had 2 or more hits, capped by Cassidy Conrad's 3 for 3, 2 RBI performance. She also threw 4 innings, giving up 6 hits, two earned runs and struck out 6.
The two wins moves Everett to 9-15 in regional play and 12-18 on the season. Six of the remaining eight games on the schedule will be on the road which includes two of the furthest distances to travel, Pierce College on May 6th and Olympic College on May 11th. They also have the toughest road double header tomorrow against #1 ranked Bellevue. Everett will play their next and final home game, Tuesday May 7th against Shoreline CC.