Razor-thin margins in district softball
WR rallies past Filer 6-5
The Wood River High School softball team
played two heart-stopping games when the five-team Sawtooth Central Idaho
Conference tournament got underway last week.
Come-from-behind rallies took place twice,
which tested the nerves of the Wolverine faithful. Ten of Wood River’s 25 games
this spring have been settled by two runs or less.
Friday in Hailey, #2-seeded Wood River
stormed back from a 5-2 deficit to beat #3-seeded Filer 6-5. Then on Saturday,
top-seeded Buhl came back with a two-out, three-run rally in the home seventh to
down Wood River 4-3.
So, defending champion Wood River (19-6)
stayed alive in the double elimination tournament. But the Wolverines had to
play one more home game on Tuesday, against Filer, to determine which team would
play Buhl in today’s SCIC championship.
Filer (10-14) ousted #4-seeded Kimberly
(12-11) by a 13-1 score Monday in Filer. The Wildcats earned another trip to
Hailey Tuesday, where Wood River was unbeaten at 11-0—and 61-23 at home over
The winner of Tuesday’s Wood River-Filer
game travels to Buhl today for the 4 p.m. SCIC title game. Wood River is 0-3 on
the Buhl diamond, but the Tribe (19-3) has won the three games by just four
The SCIC champion team automatically
advances to the State 3A tourney May 22 at Ward Park in Pocatello, where they’ll
meet the northern Idaho runner-up at 5 p.m.
The loser goes to an inter-district
play-in game Saturday, May 17 at 1 p.m. in Mountain Home against a Third
District squad. Then Saturday’s winner goes to state, where it will meet the
Sixth District champion.
Buhl has won three SCIC championships, the
last in 2000, since the district went to fast pitch in 1996. Wood River has won
twice, in 1998 and 2002. Filer has won once, 1999.
Check today’s Express Web site for
Tuesday’s game story.
Close SCIC contests
Senior pitcher/clean-up hitter Aubrey
Kirtley did just about everything as Wood River won over Filer for the third
time without a loss.
She was the starting pitcher. She got the
save as a relief pitcher. She drove home the first Wood River run. And she
rapped the game-winning hit.
But the outcome was totally in doubt until
Kirtley cracked a long three-run double over the Wildcat center fielder’s head
in the sixth.
Kirtley, the starting pitcher, was nearly
flawless in the circle over the first four innings. She threw only 41 pitches—35
for strikes—limiting Filer to two hits and just one run. Third baseman Camey
Anderson made several good plays in the field.
In the home first, Kirtley’s RBI single
drove home Kelly Haisley (3 runs) with the first run. Wood River made it 2-1 in
the fourth on a bunt single by Emily Smith and line drive RBI single by Jamie
Stone (2 hits).
But a Filer single and a walk got Kirtley
in hot water in the fifth, and Wood River summoned junior Chandin Persaud to
pitch. The Wildcats ended up pushing four runs across the plate for a 5-2 lead.
Haisley’s leadoff bunt single in the home
fifth followed by a wild pitch, passed ball and RBI grounder by catcher Joni
Chatterton cut Filer’s lead to 5-3. Persaud retired the Wildcats in the sixth
and it remained 5-3.
Leadoff singles by Stone and pinch hitter
Koree Hawkes put the tying runs on base, but Filer’s defense got a couple of
force outs and Chatterton came up with two outs. She worked a full count and
drew a walk.
With the bases loaded, Kirtley (2 hits, 4
RBI) cranked the first offering by ‘Cats pitcher Janae Hymas over the center
fielder’s head for a three-run double and a 6-5 Wolverine lead.
Kirtley returned from the outfield to
pitch the seventh and she got the top of the Filer batting order 1-2-3. Persaud
(9-2) got the pitching win and Kirtley earned the save. Wood River out-hit Filer
Saturday at Buhl, Kirtley (7 K) held the
hard-hitting Tribe (9 hits) to just one run over six innings. Wood River led the
whole game and was ahead 3-1 with three outs to go.
The Tribe filled the bases with no outs
but Wood River’s infield turned a double play on a line drive. Then, an error
kept Buhl’s hopes alive, and a timely hit by winning pitcher Whitney Ordonez
(11-1) plated the winning runs in the three-run Tribe rally.
WOLVERINE NOTES—Kirtley is Wood
River’s all-time pitching leader in percentage, with a 20-7 record from 2001-03.
Debbie Rubel was 20-10 from 1996-99. Amanda Engel was 14-8 and Stefani Miller
14-10. Persaud at 9-2 could climb in the ranks in the next year.
Wood River had a tough time against Filer
in the first four years of fast pitch, going 5-12 against the ‘Cats from
1996-99. However, the tables have turned. Prior to Tuesday’s game, Wood River
was 14-4 against Filer from 2000-03 and had won 12 straight games.
The Wolverines needed a win over Filer
Tuesday to reach 20 wins for the fourth time in school history. Last year’s team
was 20-8 and Wood River ended up 20-7 in 1999. The 1997 squad had a 21-9 record
and a school-record offensive average of 12.8.