T-Birds soar back into playoff chase
By Colin Phan - Staff Reporter
Highline climbed back up to .500 after winning a pair of away games against division rival Everett last week.
The Lady T-Birds currently are 7-7 and fifth place in the NWAC North Region, and 10-14 overall. The top four teams of each division earn a trip to the postseason.
Highline had another chance earlier in the week to improve their record, but unfortunately their doubleheader on Wednesday, April 12 against Douglas was cancelled due to rain.
The first game Highline played against Everett resulted in a final score of 9-8 with Highline on top.
The T-Birds got off to a slow start, going scoreless through the first two innings, but made an explosive run in the third, scoring four runs.
The inning started with Precious Tabangcura advancing to first base on a walk.
Savanna Gusman followed up with a single to advance Tabangcura to second base. The next two batters in Highline's order struck out.
Megan Chan took to the plate at fifth in the order, and put the T-Birds on the scoreboard for the first time of the day with an RBI double. Rosie Delrosario followed up by earning a walk, while Gusman stole home to score the T-Birds' second run of the day.
Jenny Hovland capped off the offensive onslaught by the T-Birds hammering a two-run triple, bringing Chan and Delrosario home. Coming out of the third, Highline led 4-2.
Heading into the seventh inning, Highline led 7-4 but failed to score in the top of the inning. Everett responded by scoring three runs to force the game into extra innings.
Gusman started the eighth inning off by blasting a double for the T-Birds. Chenoa White advanced on a walk following Gusman's hit.
Hannah Gyer continued the T-Birds effort by hitting a pop fly to advance the two runners on base. Megan Chan then put the T-Birds up for good with a long RBI single that brought the two runners home for a 9-7 lead.
Stefani Gollin held the Trojans to only one run in the bottom of the eighth, to hang on for a the victory.
"Knowing that we can come back when we're down proved to me that they can do it, they're getting it," said Highline Head Coach Jason Evans. "It was very good for us as a team."
Highline followed up with 12-7 win in the second game.
The T-Birds got off to a hot start in the second game, scoring five runs in the first two innings of play, including four in the second inning.
Hovland started off the second by hitting a single. Tabangcura followed up by nailing a meatball out of the park for a 3-1 lead.
Following Tabancura's two-run homer, Gusman advanced to first base on an error. The next two batters were put away by Everett pitcher Amanda Lee, before Chan blasted a two-run homer of her own for Highline's fourth run of the inning.
"Megan and Precious put us out into an early lead, and made us feel a little more comfortable," said Evans. "We played a little more relaxed and not so stressed out."
The T-Birds were shut out in the third inning, but went on a 7-4 run over the next three innings. Highline's high tempo scoring attack was too much for Everett again, as they ousted the Trojans for the second time not even needing to score in the seventh inning.
Delrosario paved the way on the mound for the T-Birds, allowing 6 hits, 7 runs, 5 errors, and striking 4 batters out over the course of the game.
"We needed these two wins, they propelled us," said Evans. "If they keep working, I know they can finish and win games."
The T-Birds next play at Douglas on Friday, April 21 at 2 p.m., then follow with a doubleheader against Olympic on Wednesday, April 26 at Lions Field at 1 p.m.