All action is at Janicki Field in Sedro-Woolley
WHATCOM — All four Class 1A fastpitch teams from the county entered the district playoffs this week, while Lynden and Sehome remain alive in the 2A postseason that started Saturday.
Mount Baker, Nooksack Valley and Lynden Christian are all in the double-elimination round of the 1A Northwest District I tournament that starts on Thursday, May 16, at Janicki Fields in Sedro-Woolley. Meridian played Sultan Monday in a play-in game and the Trojan girls won by score of 12-1, and so continues to play.
Mount Baker (14-6) has earned the Northwest Conference’s No. 1 seed as tops among the 1A teams. The Mounties face North Sound Conference No. 4 seed South Whidbey (5-13) at 4 p.m. Thursday on Field 3.
Five of the Mounties’ six losses have come to 2A teams, and they have the fourth-best defense (allowing 4.7 runs per game) in the NWC. They are led by Tyler Miles and Kennedy West, second-team all-NWC selections last year.
The Falcons have struggled most of the season, dropping 10 of their last 11 and allowing double-digit runs in nine of the 10 losses. They have the lowest-scoring offense in the NSC, scoring just 4.9 runs per game while allowing 13.7.
Nooksack Valley (12-8) is the NWC’s No. 2 seed and takes on NSC No. 3 seed Granite Falls (12-7) at 4 p.m. Thursday on Field 2.
The Pioneers have won eight of their last nine games, including victories over two 3A and two 2A teams. They sport the fifth-best defense in the NWC, allowing 4.9 runs per game. They are led by freshman fireballer Jordyn Relethford on the mound; she has racked up multiple double-digit strikeout games.
Lynden Christian (9-11), with the third seed out of the NWC, faces NSC’s No. 2 seed Cedar Park Christian of Bothell (14-4) at 4 p.m. Thursday on Field 4.
The Lyncs are led by sluggers Reese Dykstra and Maggie Vander Griend. Dykstra was tied for the county lead in hits (34) and was second in doubles (8) as of May 5, according to whatcompreps.com. Vander Griend is second in both home runs (6) and RBIs (27).
Those two teams met twice in the regular season, splitting the series in a doubleheader on April 13. The Lyncs have lost three of their last four after reeling off a four-game win streak during the second half of the season. They have the fifth-best offense in the NWC with 9.6 runs per game. The Eagles average 13.2 runs per game and have won six straight, with their last loss going back to April 19.
The top-3 finishers of this eight-team 1A Northwest District I tournament will advance to the state playoffs May 25-26 at Columbia Playfield in Richland.
The 2A Northwest District I and II tournament is also at Janicki Fields in Sedro-Woolley, starting on Wednesday, May 15.
Lynden, Sehome and Sedro-Woolley finished the regular season in a three-way tie for third place in the NWC with 9-3 league records. The Lions finished with the highest RPI and are given the No. 3 seed for district, while Sedro-Woolley is No. 4 and Sehome No. 5.
Lynden (13-6) opens district play against No. 6 Mountlake Terrace (11-10) at 4 p.m. Wednesday on Field 4.
The Lions are led by pitcher Breanna Swendt, a second-team all-NWC selection a year ago, who leads Whatcom County with 12 wins. Offensively, the Lions are powered by Riley Anderson, who is top-3 in the county in batting average (.537), on-base percentage (.615) and slugging percentage (1.037). Blakely Doerge leads the county in doubles (11), is tied for first in hits (34) and is second runs scored (31).
Lynden has won three of its last four games, including ones of outbursts of 25 and 26 runs. The Lions have the second-highest scoring offense in the NWC with 12.3 runs per game. Mountlake Terrace has lost two of its last three and is averaging 7.7 runs per contest.
A win would put the Lions against the winner of No. 2 Lakewood and No. 7 Cedarcrest, time to be determined on Wednesday.
Sehome (13-4) opened districts already in the loser-out round and blasted Blaine 14-0 on Saturday to move into double elimination. The Mariners take on No. 4 seed Sedro-Woolley (12-7) at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Janicki.
The Mariners boast the top defense in the NWC, allowing just 2.2 runs per game. They’ve posted nine shutouts, including a string of four straight midway through the season. Sedro-Woolley’s last game was actually against Sehome, in which the Cubs beat the Mariners 8-3 in their regular-season finale on May 9.
The top three teams out of the 12-team 2A District I and II tournament, which continues through May 17, move on to the state playoffs May 24-25 at Carlon Park in Selah, Washington.