In front of a record crowd with several hundred fans in attendance to see legendary Head Coach Leah Francis’ final home games of the year, the Bellevue College Bulldogs won 4-3 and 7-6 over Skagit Valley. Both games were walk-off victories earned in the bottom of the seventh inning. In the opener, after a shaky start that included 2 walks and a hit batter, BC’s Rhaney Harris settled down to go the distance in the 4-3 win. Harris fanned 9 while surrendering only 2 hits in the circle. After spotting the Cardinals with an early 1-0 lead, the ‘dogs bounced back with a 2-RBI double by Megan Paoli. Entering the bottom of the seventh tied at 3-3, the Bulldogs were in a rare position of needing to scratch across a run in the late innings as Angel Prewitt got things going with a one-out single. In a pair of critical mistakes, Skagit’s Amanda Rouse then hit BC’s Tatum Dow to put runners at first and second then followed with a passed ball to move the runners up. Tori McDowell then grounded out to second as Prewitt raced home for the walk-off win.
In game two, Bellevue had to fight once again after McDowell’s explosive hitting carried the Bulldogs to a 6-1 lead with 2 home runs, 3 hits, and 3 RBI’s. Skagit Valley chipped away with 2 runs in the fifth and 3 in the seventh to tie the game. With a stunned crowd, the ‘dogs responded again in the bottom frame as Katie Noble’s double was the walk-off winner scoring Meg Marino from second to flip the ‘dog fans’ emotional state to pandemonium.
Bellevue closes out the regular season at 29-3 in league and 40-5 overall. Entering next weekend’s NWAC Championships, the favored Bulldogs are the #1 RPI-ranked squad, and bring the top league and overall records into the tourney. In addition to the nerve-wracking wins for BC, fans were also treated with a complimentary beer and hot dog garden provided by BC Foundation, the sophomore players and Coach Francis were all recognized for their final games at BC. Several alumni from Francis’ previous teams were in attendance to honor the coach who built BC softball into a dynasty program.
Bellevue will await their first round opponent as the draw for the NWAC Championships will be later this week. The tourney begins in Spokane at Merkel Complex on May 17.
Last Updated May 12, 2019