Women's fastpitch playoff bound

By Colin Phan - Staff Reporter

Highline women's fastpitch is ready to make some noise in the playoffs, making the tournament after going 1-3 over the final four games of the regular season. 

Highline was able to sneak into the playoffs thanks to its runs per inning average, good for No. 13 in the NWAC. The top three teams in each division and the top seven remaining teams whose RPI is highest make the playoffs.

The T-Birds were swept in their doubleheader last Wednesday against Douglas. Highline wasn't able to find it's rhythm dropping the games 5-1 and 6-0. 

Highline batters struck out a total of 14 times against Douglas.

In their first game, the T-Birds were only able to get six hits off Douglas pitcher Keeley Ainge. In their second game, the T-Birds were again held at bay, only managing one hit off Douglas pitcher Kira Staley.

"Their pitching was a lot better than last time we played them," said third baseman Taylor Poe. "We were kind of nervous. We tried, we just didn't make adjustments at the plate."

Highline split its doubleheader on Saturday with Everett, while keeping its playoff hopes alive.

In the first game Highline crushed Everett 13-5. The T-Birds looked like themselves again, jumping out with a four-run lead in the first inning. 

Catcher Precious Tabangcura played a major role, hammering a three-run homer. 

The T-Birds carried the offensive onslaught into the second and third innings, scoring four in each.  

Pitcher Rosie Delrosario (11-12) helped lead Highline by scattering two hits, and striking out two batters. Play ended in the fifth inning due to the mercy rule.

In their second game, the T-Birds ran out of gas, losing 7-4. 

Highline held a one-run lead after the first inning, but surrendered four runs in the second. The T-Birds never recovered, allowing two runs the rest of the game while managing to only score one of their own. 

The ladies say they were not complacent with the way the season ended, expecting more from themselves. 

"I wish we would have finished higher in the rankings and won the games we needed to climb the standings," Tabangcura said. "But we are still in this. We aren't finished yet." 

Despite being tough on themselves, the ladies say they are confident heading into the playoffs.  

"Going into the playoffs, I know we are going to do great things," Delrosario said. "We just have to play our game and have confidence in ourselves that we can win and we'll be fine."

The NWAC playoffs are at Dwight Merkel Sports Complex in Spokane. The tournament runs from May 19-22. 

Single-day admission for students with current school ID for the tournament will cost $8.

The T-Birds open up against Clackamas on Friday, May 19 at 12:30 p.m.

Clackamas (22-6 in divison, 28-7 overall) finished No.2 in the NWAC South Reigon. Clackamas owns the No. 4 seed in the NWAC playoffs.

Clackamas will be led by catcher Katie Rosie Whestine who has a .486 batting average, hit 60 RBIs, and hammered 11 home runs. 

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