There was a lot on the line for the Islanders softball team coming into last Thursday’s season finale versus the league-leading Chieftains of Clairemont High School. For starters, it was senior day, and the team honored the lone senior, and starting catcher, Sydney Dull. Not only would a win on Senior Day be a great way to end the regular season, but it also would give the Islanders a shot at being seeded in the upcoming CIF Division III playoffs.
Junior hurler Marianne Akre would tow in rubber for the Islanders for their most pivotal game. The southpaw would make quick work of the Chieftains over the first three innings, as she would allow only two Clairemont batters to reach base.
With Akre dealing, the Islander’s offense went ahead and provided the run support. After an early second inning RBI base knock from Dull to give the Islanders the 1-0 advantage, the girls in black and green would look to add more in the bottom of the third. Following back-to-back base hits from Susanna Pate and Emma Borgie, Akre would help her own cause, as she would ground a ball through the right side, scoring Pate and giving Coronado the 2-0 lead. The Islanders would tack on another run shortly after following an error on a ground ball of the bat of Anneliese Wong making it 3-1 Islanders heading to the fourth.
Akre would continue to deal through the fourth and fifth innings and got some assistance behind her, as frankly the Islander’s defense flashed the leather all afternoon. In the fourth, a nice barehanded scoop from second basemen, Borgie, would help the Islanders escape a jam, and in the fifth, a great running catch from Madison Cannon would put out a first and third two-out situation and preserve the Islanders lead.
But the Islanders could only keep the Chieftains at bay for so long. Following the two leadoff batters getting on for Clariemont, the Islanders would commit a throwing error that would allow both runners to score and tie it at 3-3. The Chieftains appeared as if they would take the lead that inning, if not for two fantastic plays by middle infielders Borgie and Pate.
Coronado would again run into a jam in the top of the seventh. After a leadoff single, the Chieftains fourth hole hitter would send a rocket to the left-center gap that appeared destined for extra bases, but center-fielder Natalie Sawi had other ideas as the junior would make a great catch on the run to keep the game tied. But the Islanders would still have work to do to get out of trouble, as Clairemont would load the bases with two outs. But Akre would not be shaken as she would record a strikeout to get out of the jam.
The Islanders would fail to score in the bottom of the seventh, sending the game to extras where it would remain tied 3-3 thanks largely to Akre’s continued dominance inside the circle, as she would pitch through the ninth. In the bottom half of the ninth, the Islanders would finally get their breakthrough. Leadoff hitter Borgie would work an eight pitch walk to get the winning run on base to start the inning. The following batter, Dull, would be hit by the pitch, moving the Islanders into first and second and none down. With the winning run just 120 feet away, Wong would step to the plate and hit a seed to the shortstop, who, despite making a nice play, would throw the ball away, allowing Borgie to score and give the Islanders the oh-so-important 4-3 win.
With the win, the Islanders claimed the season series win versus the league champion Chieftains and apparently improved their end of the season resume as the Islanders were awarded the 12th seed in the DIII playoffs, where they would face OLP.