The Trinity Lutheran softball team found itself in a defensive battle in the first four innings with West Washington.
While the Cougars were able to hold the Senators hitless for the first four innings, they couldn’t stop a late rally as they fell 4-0 in the Class 3A Sectional 30 championship game.
Following a quick first inning, Cougars senior pitcher Natalie Plofkin walked three straight batters to load the Senators’ bases after a groundout. However, Plofkin struck out the next batter and the Cougars kept the Senators away from home with a flyout to end the inning.
The Cougars were able to get sophomore Taylor Russell to third base, as she made it to first on a bunt and stole a base before an overthrow allowed her to get to third. However, the Cougars couldn’t capitalize as they left Russell stranded.
In the fifth inning, the Senators scored on a fielder’s choice before a double play ended the inning.
A Senators double play ended the Cougars’ batting in the sixth inning.
The bottom of the sixth saw the Senators score a second run off a dropped pop fly in the infield towards second base. An RBI single from Tressa Bartholomew put the Senators up 3-0.
Another RBI single scored the final Senators run on the evening.
“We can’t take anything away from their pitcher,” Cougars coach Chad Goecker said. “She’s an extremely good pitcher and had great control. We were mentally prepared going into the game. The girls fought hard throughout the whole game. They never gave up and played seven innings. They’re a good ball club and were the better team today. I’m proud of my girls.”
Plofkin threw five and two-thirds innings with two strikeouts, one hit, two walks and two runs. Cougars senior Kailtyn Wright finished the pitching with two strikeouts, three hits, one walk and two runs.
“Natalie pitched good for six innings,” Goecker said. “We have two exceptional pitchers. We felt like it was time for a change. Both made a lot of defensive plays today.”
Cougars freshman Morgan Gabbard had a single, and Wright also added a double on the evening.
The Cougars finished with three hits on the evening to the Senators’ four.
Errors played suit in the defensive battle, as the Cougars committed three while the Senators had none.
With the loss, the Cougars finish 14-9 on the season.
Liz Hill, Plofkin and Wright have will graduate from the Cougars’ softball program.
“My three seniors have been great leaders,” Goecker said. “I’ve got two exceptional pitchers and a great catcher. I couldn’t have asked for a better group. It’s a little disappointing that we couldn’t get them that championship. I know what it meant to those girls and we felt like we could have gotten it done. They were just the better team today.”