Photo courtesy of Jim Nicholson Bellevue sophomore Montana Jones, right, hustles to first base against the Mercer Island Islanders. Mercer Island captured a 12-11 win against Bellevue on March 29. Jones had three hits in the contest for the Wolverines.

Islanders defeat Wolverines in thriller on the softball field

The Bellevue Wolverines girls softball team displayed their mental toughness in a showdown against the Mercer Island Islanders.

Despite trailing 9-4 after six innings of play, the Wolverines put together a top of the seventh inning for the ages. Bellevue sent 13 batters to the plate and scored seven runs, taking a 11-9 lead.

Unfortunately for the Wolverines the Islanders scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh, earning a 12-11 win in a matchup between KingCo 3A rivals on March 29. Mercer Island junior Maddie Rowe connected on a base-hit to right field with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, scoring teammate Natalie Wilson from second base for the game-winning RBI. The Islanders improved their overall record to 2-6 with the victory. Bellevue dropped to 3-3 with the loss. Rowe’s game-winning hit was just barely out of the reach of Bellevue’s right fielder. Rowe, who had struck out a combined four times earlier in the game against Bellevue pitchers Kelly Treves and Sailor Anicker, was glad to redeem herself with the game on the line.

“I had struck out all day so to come back like that I was proud of myself. Before I went up to bat I had to remind myself to be confident in my swing. It was pretty cool. I’m just really excited,” Rowe said.

Rowe credited Islanders’ team captain Kayla Varney for keeping the team focused after Bellevue’s sensational showing in the top of the seventh.

“She (Varney) told us right before we went out to hit (in the bottom of the seventh) to just have confidence in ourselves and have confidence in our team because we know we can do this. It really fueled that hunger we had at the end of the game,” Rowe said.

Varney went 3-for-4 at the plate and scored four runs. Mercer Island slugger Camryn Steiner went 4-for-5 with a game-high 5 RBI. Bellevue players Madi George, Stuart Buxton and Montana Jones each tallied three hits apiece in the loss.