Timberwolves take down Grizzlies | Softball

By David Pan | May 18, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Jackson’s Iyanla Pennington pitches to Glacier Peak during a district semifinal game Tuesday, May 15, at Phil Johnson Fields in Everett.

Jackson’s patience at the plate paid off.

The Timberwolves jumped on Glacier Peak early, scoring eight runs in the first three innings to cruise to a 9-0 victory in a 4A District softball tournament semifinal game Tuesday, May 15, at Phil Johnson Fields in Everett.

The Wolfpack battered Glacier Peak’s Makayla Miller and Kendall Curtis for 15 hits and was more comfortable with its at-bats than in a late-April matchup. Miller limited the Timberwolves to only six hits in that game in which Jackson prevailed 5-2,

The Wolfpack were determined to hit better against the Grizzlies this time.

“We really came in just trying to hit the ball and do something different than the last time,” junior pitcher Iyanla Pennington said. “The last time we played them it was back and forth. We just tried to come out and make contact and it just ended up paying off.”

Pennington added that the focus was on waiting for their pitches.

“We did have definitely a different approach tonight,” Jackson coach Kyle Peacocke said. “We had more patience and we had a game plan going up to the plate and the kids executed it.”

Pennington, who overpowered the Grizzlies with 14 strikeouts in a complete-game performance, helped herself with a two-run home run in the first inning.

The early lead gave her a boost.

“It relaxed me a lot in the circle,” Pennington said. “I wasn’t stressing as much. It just made the game a lot more fun and easier as a pitcher.

“I hit my spots really well. My screwball and my curveball were working really good. They were breaking well and my catcher Sam (Mutolo) was framing the pitches really well to get me strikes.”

Peacocke marveled at Pennington’s effectiveness even when Glacier Peak managed to put two runners in scoring position, as it did in the fifth. Pennington ended the threat with a strikeout.

“She’s just a rock,” Peacocke said. “Even in a situation with runners on second and third, she just bears down and gets a strikeout to get out of the inning.”

The Wolfpack took a 5-0 lead in the second inning on RBI singles by Braylin Jenson and Mutolo and a wild pitch. Jackson extended its lead to 8-0 in the third inning on a two-RBI double by Julia Dillon and an RBI single by Pennington.

Pennington then drove in her team’s ninth run in the sixth on a single to left field.

The Timberwolves (20-1) was scheduled to take on Monroe in the district championship game on Thursday, May 17, after the Beacon’s deadline. The Bearcats upset co-league champion Lake Stevens 7-1 in the other semifinal game.

Jackson is looking for their fourth straight district championship against a Monroe squad that Peacocke said shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Bearcats finished third at last year’s state tournament.

The Timberwolves beat Monroe twice this season – 2-1 and 5-3 – and the Wolfpack has won four straight since its only loss of the season to Lake Stevens on May 1.

“I think we’re playing the best we’ve played so far all season,” Pennington said. “We’re making solid contact throughout the entire lineup and our defense is just always knocking the ball down.”

Peacocke was impressed by the Timberwolves strong start against Glacier Peak.

“We’re playing with a lot of energy,” he said. “It was a total team game from top to bottom, one through nine. We’ve put ourselves right where we want to be.”

GRIZZLIES STILL ALIVE: Despite the loss to Jackson, Glacier Peak remains alive for a state tournament berth. The Grizzlies were scheduled to face Kamiak in a loser-out game on Thursday, May 18 with another loser-out game to follow against Lake Stevens or Cascade. The winner of the second game will take on the loser of the championship game – either Jackson or Monroe – in a winner-to-state/loser-out game on Saturday, May 18. Glacier Peak opened the tournament with a 13-2 victory over Cascade.

WILDCATS ADVANCE: Archbishop Murphy started off 2A District tournament play with a 15-6 victory over Granite Falls Saturday, May 12, at Archbishop Murphy High School. Brooke Jordan was 4-for-4 with a double, three home runs, six RBI and five runs. Teammate Isabella Balderrama was 4-for4 with a double. The Wildcats gave up six runs in the first inning but then clawed their way back into the game with two runs in the bottom of the first and six in the third inning. Jordan, who picked up the victory, did not allow a run after the first inning.

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