The Lynnwood Royals have been looking for that signature victory to prove to themselves and others in the area that they can be contenders in the upcoming postseason playoffs. The team may have gotten that win Monday.
Behind a clutch game-winning hit by a freshman and a gutsy pitching performance by her sister, the Royals slipped past the Mountlake Terrace Hawks 9-8 in a wild game played at Lynnwood High School.
The teams traded the lead three times early on before going to the fifth inning knotted up at 8-8. But the only run recorded in the final three frames went to the Royals when Lauren Blue scored from first base on a sixth-inning two-out RBI triple down the right field line by Alex Rieflin.
Alex’s sister, senior pitcher Mayda Rieflin, faced the minimum number of Terrace hitters during the final three innings to close out the Lynnwood win.
“For our morale, this was huge for us,” said Royals Coach Sara Hall. “We’ve been digging deep and trying to pull this out of each other all season… As far as us being competitors, this is really big for us.”
“It feels good to beat a team that we know is really solid,” Hall added. “And we earned that today; that was really fun.”
The victory was the first for Lynnwood this year against a team with a record above .500. The previous five wins for the Royals this season were over squads with a combined mark of 15-78.
As an extra bonus, the victory came over a team that Lynnwood has struggled against over the past four years. “It feels amazing because we never really beat them,” noted Mayda Rieflin.
The Royals had just one win over the Hawks over the past four season coming into Monday’s tilt.
For Hall, seeing her squad down Terrace was also personal as the four-year Royals’ coach is friends with Hawks’ Coach Shannon Rasmussen.
“Shannon’s my buddy, so of course, I would love to beat her just because we grew up playing ball together and she’s wonderful and a terrific coach. I wanted to get that win against my friend,” Hall confessed.
Rasmussen pointed to her squad’s inconsistency at the plate as a key factor in the loss. The Hawks left runners on base in each of the first four innings, then went hitless in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
“Our girls started getting a little bit antsy and started reaching for some balls, going after some pitches instead of being patient and waiting for their pitch,” Rasmussen said of her players’ late-game at-bats.
Both teams close out their 2018 regular season on Tuesday, May 8 – Terrace will travel to Meadowdale to face the Mavericks while Lynnwood will host the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors. Both games begin at 4 p.m.
The Hawks will likely be the no. 5 seed in the District 1/2 2A Softball Tournament that begins on Saturday, May 12; the Royals will also be involved in the postseason this year, but will have to win a 3A softball playoff game on Thursday, May 10, to get into the District 1 3A Softball Tournament that starts on Tuesday, May 15.
Prep Softball: Mountlake Terrace at Lynnwood, May 7
Terrace 2 4 0 2 0 0 0 — 8 9 2
Lynnwood 5 0 3 0 1 0 x — 9 13 5
Winning pitcher: Mayda Rieflin (Lynnwood)
Losing pitcher: Laney Flynn (Mountlake Terrace)
Records: Mountlake Terrace 9-7 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 10-9 overall; Lynnwood 6-10 in 2A/3A Wesco League South Conference, 6-13 overall
Mountlake Terrace next game: versus Meadowdale, Tuesday, May 8, 4 p.m. at Meadowdale High School
Lynnwood next game: versus Edmonds-Woodway, Tuesday, May 8, 4 p.m. at Lynnwood High School
–By Doug Petrowski