The Thomas Jefferson High School softball season came to an abrupt close at the district tournament with the Raiders dropping their two games.
During the morning slate May 18, the Raiders took on Gig Harbor and fell 15-6. But the final score doesn’t dictate the quality of the game that was played.
“I’m proud of my girls for being mentally tough. It was good to see the girls come out and want it. I think the other team expected to clobber us … We saw them get quiet and nervous so we took that momentum and ran with it,” Head Coach Annalise Campbell said.
After the Tides scored one in the first, Lauren Baas smacked a leadoff home run in the second inning, tying the ballgame.
In the third, Thomas Jefferson got to the Tides starting pitcher, causing a pitching change, and left the inning with a 5-1 lead over fifth-seeded Gig Harbor.
That lead came from the Raiders really manufacturing runs. The Raiders totalled three hits in the inning and had their way with the Tides in the inning. Baas was a big part of the Raider offense early in this game. After her homer, she clutched up for a 2 RBI single to extend the Jefferson lead.
“It was so good to see her go yard. She had a little bit of a dip in the middle of the season, and she’s just been climbing that ladder back to the top, and there is a reason she’s in the order where she is and she showed that today,” Campbell said.
However, Gig Harbor was eager to rally, and rally they did. The following inning, Gig Harbor put up a three spot, bringing the game to a 5-4 score. From the fifth to the sixth, the Tides scored 11 runs and put the Raiders away.
But even with a four run deficit, the Raiders kept fighting. They had runners on second and third with less than two outs and produced a run in the sixth inning.
The Raiders had this game, but the depth of their lineup and pitching rotation came into question in the tournament. But Coach Campbell likes the way her team competed.
“At the end of the day it just comes down to depth. We’re just not graced with that many pitchers. Ava threw her heart out and I’m really proud of Emily Kropp for going three batters up and three down,” Campbell said.
After the loss, the Raiders still had a chance to keep their season alive as they played Lakes High School. This was coach Campbell’s message at the end of game one: “It comes down to how much they want it and how much they’re willing to work together and overcome the failures when they happen,” she said.
TJ fell to Lakes, 10-3, ending a great year for Raider softball.