The Ketchikan High School Kings came to town and proceeded to take control of the Region V 4A softball leaderboard, beating Thunder Mountain High School on Friday for the number one spot.
TMHS gave up four unearned runs off in the fourth inning on several spirit-deflating plays from which they wouldn’t recover. A solo home run from Falcons sophomore Rachel Macauley brought life to the home team in the fifth, but not enough to overcome the Lady Kings.
At the end of seven innings, the Falcons lost 1-5.
Falcons senior Tracy Bourassa said most of the damage was self-inflicted.
“We were upset that we weren’t ahead so we started to make mistakes because we wanted to rush to make the outs,” senior Tracy Bourassa said. “Then communication just fell flat.”
The mistakes Bourassa referred to were two fourth-inning errors at first base that the Kings capitalized on for three of their runs.
The Lady Kings had to have the runners on base to take advantage of those plays, and Kayhi coach Scott Smith chalked their win up to executing the game-plan on TMHS’ talented pitcher Taylor Beardslee.
“We know Taylor throws hard, she’s got several good pitches,” Smith said. “One of our keys was to not chase the ball up but hit the ball down and make them play defense.”
Ketchikan pitcher Kaileigh Krosse threw an excellent game
“Coming into this weekend we knew there was a lot at stake,” Krosse said. “I think that helped us with our energy and that was a huge part of it.”
Krosse also recognized the strategizing for Beardslee.
“A lot of it’s mental, we know that she’s an up-spin pitcher and she’s likes to play the ball up to us, and that will get to us sometimes, but thinking about it we know that she’s not much different than other pitchers we’ll face in southeast,” Krosse said.
Both Krosse and Beardslee held their opponents scoreless for the first three innings before Ketchikan broke the game open in the crucial fourth inning.
Two of Region V’s 4A teams will earn a trip to the state tournament. Ketchikan, Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain all vie for the top two spots, with Kayhi and TMHS battling it out at the top. As of press time Saturday, TMHS and Ketchikan were playing their second game on the weekend. If TMHS wins that game, they retake the top spot in the region.
Look to the Empire online and in Tuesday’s print edition for coverage of that game.