After a heroic and memorable season that included an NWAC top ranking and conference-best record of 40-5, the Bulldogs came up short going 2-2 at the NWAC Championships in Head Coach Leah Francis’ final season of coaching the Bulldogs.
After the entire day was washed out due to heavy rains in Spokane, the tourney finally began on Saturday May 18. The Bulldogs opened up with a 7-3 win over Skagit Valley, a team they had just closed the regular season with the week prior, and had difficulty taking care of. In the opener, the Bulldogs won 7-3 in a game that was in BC’s control as the Bulldogs were up 7-1 until the final inning. Meg Marino led Bellevue by going 3-for-4 with a triple and home run. In the team’s second game in winners’ bracket play, Bellevue was upset by Walla Walla, the #9 seed in tourney 11-6. Walla Walla took advantage of Bellevue’ pitching miscues, as Coach Francis was forced to go to the bullpen for relief help twice in the first inning, going through three pitchers to stop an early 8-0 lead staked by the Warriors. Even with their potent offense, the uphill climb was too great for BC as the ‘dogs scraped together 6 runs in the middle innings to make the game 9-6 but couldn’t get any closer. Marino led Bellevue’s charge with a 3-run homer in the fourth inning.
On Sunday, coming off a tough loss that stunned many in attendance at the championships, Bellevue unfortunately was faced with a monumental task of winning four games in one day to stay alive, including an opening loser-bracket game against the #2 seed Mount Hood Saints, who were upset as well on the opening day. In a loser-out game that featured the top two seeds in the 16-team tourney, Bellevue upended the Saints in extra (10) innings 14-13. The game was a slugfest as two of the top offensive clubs in the NWAC squared off. BC had 19 hits in the game and won it with 2 runs in the bottom of the tenth inning on a triple by Marino. The game-winner was on the 199th pitch delivered by Hood’s McKenzie Pierce, who went the distance in the circle for the Saint in the loss. Tatum Dow led the ‘dogs with 5 RBI and a home run while Tori McDowell added a homer as well, a solo blast that tied the game at 12 in the final frame in regulation that sent it to extra innings.
In the Bulldogs’ next loser-out game, the squad fell short against Clackamas, 10-4. After the long, exhausting win over Mount Hood, the ‘dogs were fatigued defensively. Clackamas blew the game open with 8 runs in the fourth after a bases-loaded clearing error gave the Cougars an 8-2 lead. Kiera Shipley and Angel Prewitt, batting one and two in the lineup got things going by both garnering 2 hits apiece, but the ‘dogs middle of the lineup, which carried the squad for most of the year, could not get anything going against Clackamas ace Sydney Rusin, who went the distance in the circle.
Bellevue finished with one of their all-time best records at 42-7.
Last Updated May 21, 2019