TJ fastpitch wins SPSL

The Jefferson girls fastpitch team wrapped up a perfect 16-0 season with a 8-1 win over Curtis Wednesday.

“At the beginning of the season I thought we had a good chance (to win the league title),” Jefferson coach Kevin Hanis said. “I knew we had a good team. It’s nice to get it.”

It’s the first South Puget Sound League, South Division championship in fastpitch for the Raiders.

“We’ve never even taken the SPSL, so going undefeated is real big for us,” said Jefferson rightfielder Chelsea Hunt. “We had a couple games this year when we weren’t doing real well, but we came back. We never quit.”

Against Curtis, Jefferson trailed 1-0 after the first inning as Curtis strung together three hits. But Jefferson pitcher Natasha Lindsey settled down — combined with some great defensive plays — and allowed just one hit the rest of the game. Lindsey struck out seven batters.

“We came out to play,” Lindsey said. “We really wanted to go undefeated. That first inning was hard, but we’ve been hitting really good this year so I knew we’d come back. We usually have one or two bad innings.”

Jefferson came alive for six runs in the third inning, then added one run in the fifth and one in the sixth.

“Natasha heated up, our defense picked it up and our bats heated up,” Hanis said. “The nice thing about it is we don’t fold under pressure. We’ve been there and done that. It’s nice to have that kind of experience.”

In the third inning, Jessica Allen earned a walk with the bases loaded to score Rachel Girello. Ashley Osman scored when Chelsea Hunt hit a single. Then Val Crow came up with a two-RBI single and Erin Johnson followed with a two-RBI triple to right field to give the Raiders a 6-1 lead.

In the fifth inning, Osman was on first base when Jamie Salmon hit a single that went through the legs of the right fielder. Osman scored a run and Salmon ended up at third base.

In the sixth inning, Hunt hit a single, advanced to second base on Crow’s ground out, then scored when Johnson hit a sacrifice fly.

Hunt was 3-4 in the game with an RBI and two runs scored. Crow was 2-2 with 2 RBI and a run scored. Johnson was 2-3 with a triple and 3 RBI. Guthrie was 1-4 with a double, Girello was 1-4 with a run scored and Salmon was 1-2 with a run scored an an RBI.

Jefferson plays a warm-up game for the playoffs at 4 p.m. on Wednesday against Lindberg at Jefferson. Lindberg a Class 3A team who is undefeated in the Seamount League this season.

The Raiders play in the SPSL championship game against North Division champions Kentridge. The game is at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 11 at the Boise Six-Plex in Enumclaw.

“We’re hoping to beat Kentridge, go into districts in first place, then go to state,” Lindsey said. “We’ll see what happens.”

Last year’s team made the playoffs, but lost in a game that would have sent the Raiders to the state tournament.

“We have most of the players back,” Hunt said. “We have experience. We should do well.”

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