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Kentlake defeats Tahoma 5-4 in final league game for SPSL North title | Fastpitch
This time around Kentlake didn’t need a coin flip or a tie breaker game to earn the No. 1 seed out of the South Puget Sound League North.
On Tuesday night Kentlake came back from a 3-1 deficit against Tahoma, with which it had shared the past two division titles, to win the game and the league crown 5-4 thanks to timely hits including a key double from senior pitcher Hannah Sauget.
In the bottom of the sixth with one out and the bases loaded, Sauget ripped a double to the left field fence, driving in Libby Riehl and Larissa Henderson to tie the game. A Madie Brown sacrifice fly drove in Melissa Alberts, who scored the go-ahead run, while a Lexi Engman single to center field brought in Sauget.
Sauget, who didn’t hit last year and got few at-bats as a sophomore, wanted to put the bat on the ball.
“All I was thinking was that I needed to get a hit,” she said. “I didn’t focus on the fact that we needed those runs. I just wanted to get a hit. It’s fantastic to help my team out that way … supporting my team as much as I can.”
Kentlake got the early lead on a Kellie Nielsen double to right field which drove in Engman in the bottom of the first.
Then Tahoma shortstop Hayley Beckstrom hit a solo shot over the left center field fence to tie it up in the top of the second.
The Bears tacked on two more runs in the top of the third but it wasn’t enough against the Falcons on senior night at Kentlake.
And for Sauget, the win was especially sweet, given the rivalry between the teams.
“It’s the best part of the season so far because we lost to them the first time,” Sauget said. “It’s great to win league not have to play a tiebreaker.”
With the win Kentlake finishes the regular season 14-2 in league and earned a spot in one of the semi-final games in the SPSL tournament on Friday at Kent Service Club Park.
Tahoma finished second in the division at 13-3 and will play on Thursday in the league tournament.
Beckstrom’s walk off home run for Tahoma on May 5 set the stage for the final two scenes of fastpitch drama.
Beckstrom, who is a senior, smashed the ball over the left center field fence with two runners on in the bottom of the seventh to end a 5-5 tie against Kentridge.
Tahoma improved to 13-2 in league thanks to the 8-5 win over Kentridge, who finished the season at 8-8, giving epic significance to Kentwood’s final game of the season against Kentlake on Monday as well as possibly making Tuesday night’s game between the Bears and the Falcons are one-contest showdown for first place.
In the first showdown of the season, Tahoma beat Kentlake 6-1, which was the first South Puget Sound League North division loss for the Falcons.
On Monday Kentlake beat Kentwood 6-0 thanks to an offensive outburst in the bottom of the fifth inning when the Falcons batted around.
Nielsen started the inning off with a long single to left field. Two batters later Riehl was hit by a pitch then Katie Habryle, who was 3-for-4 with an RBI, smacked a double to the center field gap.
A run scored when Henderson reached on a fielder’s choice followed by a run scored when Melissa Alberts reached on a fielder’s choice.
Sauget, who pitched a complete game with eight strikeouts as well as going 2-for-3 at the plate, hit a single which brought in a run followed by Brown’s single up the middle. Engman followed that with a double to left center which drove in a run.
Kentwood couldn’t get anything going on offense this time around. The Conquerors lost to the Falcons 6-5 a week earlier. With the loss Kentwood dropped to 10-6 in league.
With the win Kentlake improved to 13-2 in league with the Falcons losses this season coming at the hands of the Bears and the Chargers.
Tahoma’s losses were to Kentwood early in the season — a loss the Bears avenged with a come-from-behind victory in the second meeting — and Thomas Jefferson on May 1. The Raiders beat the Bears 4-3. Jefferson has three losses on the season and was in third place as of Monday while Kentwood was in fourth after a roller coaster two weeks of rain make ups and re-schedules.
Against Kentridge, Beckstrom was 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and three RBIs, while Molly Lathrop was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and a stolen base, Amanda Allison was 3-for-4 with all of her hits singles along with two runs scored and an RBI.
For the Chargers, Kayla Andrus was 1-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI while Jessica Torlai was 2-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base, Bri Drury was 2-for-4 and Hannah Overall was 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored.