T-Birds top Bearcats in pitchers’ duel


TUMWATER — Tumwater’s Ella Ferguson and W.F. West’s Monroe Dalrymple put on a show in the circle at Tumwater on Wednesday, shutting down the opposition throughout.

It was the Thunderbirds that were able to claw across an extra run, coming away with a 2-1 win over their league foes.

“I just love the rivalry between W.F. West and Tumwater softball,” Tumwater coach Ashley Lupinski said. “I thought it was a good game. Both teams played well. I’m glad we came out on top.”

Ferguson went the distance in the win, allowing six hits and a run while walking four and striking out 13 across her seven innings of work.

Lupinski said that it’s a “‘coach’s dream” to have a pitcher like Ferguson at her disposal, knowing that whenever she has the ball, the T-Birds (4-1, 1-0 2A EvCo) have a chance against anybody.

“She just commands the circle,” Lupinski said. “And that’s all I could ask for.”

Dalrymple was just as impressive for the Bearcats (6-2, 0-1 2A EvCo), allowing eight hits and two runs while walking and striking out three in six innings.

“She has made huge strides since last year,” W.F. West coach Kevin Zylstra said. “To lock horns with Ella Ferguson in a 2-1 ballgame, that’s impressive no matter who wins.”

An RBI single from Zoe Fields in the second and a fielder’s choice in the third was enough for Tumwater, even after Staysha Fluetsch tied the game with an RBI single of her own in the top half of the third.

While runs were hard to come by, both coaches were impressed with how their offenses continued to battle against tough opposition.

Tumwater was able to generate solid contact at times, forcing the W.F. West defense to make several plays, most of which the Bearcats made.

“We hit the ball hard,” Lupinski said. “When we have to make their defense make outs, that’s what I want.”

Zylstra was pleased with how the Bearcats continued to adjust against Ferguson, forcing several long at-bats as the game went along. By the end of the game, Ferguson had thrown 120 pitches.

He noted that Ferguson’s repertoire is a tricky one to go up against, especially for younger players who haven’t seen her before. On her changeup specifically, he joked that “unless you’re looking for it, you’re toast.”

“I loved the way we battled,” Zylstra said. “The girls just fought and scraped and scratched and did everything they could to win. Sometimes you just get beat.”

The T-Birds are back on the diamond on Friday at home against Shelton, while the Bearcats will look to bounce back at home against Centralia.