By Jack Kintner
Lawson fans record 14
Blaine junior Siri Lawson struck out a record 14 batters for a 3-2 non-league victory over Chimacum in Blaine’s fastpitch home opener last Monday afternoon at the Pipe. That broke last year’s record of 11 K’s in a single 7-inning game set by Krista Walter. Lawson went the distance, scattering three hits and allowing only three walks to go with her 14 K’s.
Lawson showed mid-season form despite off-season jaw surgery, and was strong at the end in containing a modest 2-run rally in the Chimacum half of the sixth. Blaine had opened the scoring with a run in the home half of the fifth inning but Chimacum answered with a series of singles. The rally was cut short by Lawson’s two inning-ending strike-outs in a row and first baseman Kaylyn Bird’s defensive play, said head coach Rob Adams. “(Bird) saved us three times at first, catching two line drives right down the line that otherwise would have been extra-base hits, and by digging a throw out of the dirt for a crucial sixth inning put-out. That and her two hits and a stolen base were huge for us,” Adams said.
The second of Bird’s pokes came in Blaine’s half of the seventh. After she opened the inning with a single Adams pulled her for the fleet sophomore pinch-runner and smart base runner Jacklyn McDonald. Lacey Cheatwood’s single advanced McDonald to second and Nicole Riddle then knocked a ball into the outfield.
McDonald headed for home but was still ten feet off the plate as the relay slammed into Chimacum catcher Natalie Bollinghouse’s mitt. McDonald instantly threw everything into reverse like the Roadrunner ditching the Coyote and headed back for third. Bollinghouse meanwhile rose out of her crouch and fired the ball to Chimacum’s third baseman Paige Worley, but McDonald beat the tag with a Pete Rose-style dirt-eating slide. When the dust settled Blaine had the bases loaded for Krissie Hammer. Her line drive up the middle brought McDonald home, this time in a sedate, lady-like stroll with an ear-to-ear grin, to break the 2-2 tie and end the game in the bottom of the seventh.
“It felt good to be out here with my team behind me like they were tonight,” Lawson said, “for what was a low-scoring game. That’s how they’re supposed to be.” She scattered three hits and issued only three walks in working the entire game with battery mate and younger sister Aizia Lawson.
“I was proud of the way we responded in the bottom of the sixth,” said Adams. “Siri (Lawson) got the last two outs after they broke her shut-out with a run. She’s been throwing two to three days a week since last August. We expect to lean heavily on her pitching ability this year,” Adams said.
“Our biggest focus is on defense, pitching and timely hitting,” Adams continued, “so this win over an excellent Chimacum team is huge. They placed eighth in the state lat year and only lost two players.”
Blaine’s JV squad was also victorious 10-8, giving rookie coach Steve Dodd (also Adam’s stepfather) his first high school win.