Yelm’s fastpitch season officially opened on Saturday, March 18, at the Auburn Riverside Fastpitch Invitational as the team recorded two losses, but the team is looking ahead to what’s to come this season.
The Tornados faced off against two teams who were described as high powered. They lost to Decatur High School, 16-2, and then recorded another defeat against Skyline, 20-1.
“It was a tough couple of games considering the outcome, however, we learned a lot and got to play great competition,” Yelm head coach Lindsay Walton said. “Even though this wasn’t the kind of start we thought we would have for our season, we are not going to let this define our season.”
In their first game against Decatur, Madisyn Erickson started on the mound for Yelm.
The girls found themselves trailing quickly with a score of 3-0 at the end of the first inning. Decatur’s offense continued its production and exploded in the second inning for 11 runs to extend its lead to 14-0 over Yelm.
Decatur added another point in the third inning, but lost their shutout as the Tornados got on the board for two runs in the fourth. Decatur scored their final run in the fifth inning.
Caylee Roberts led Yelm in hits, going 1 for 2 at the plate. Four Decatur athletes picked up a multiple-hit game in the contest.
In their second game of the invitational, the Tornados ran into similar trouble against Skyline and its dominant offense.
The Spartans led 6-0 after two innings and widened the score-gap even more in the third as they scored eight runs. Six different Spartans collected RBIs in their highest scoring inning of the game.
Yelm scored its first and only run of the game in the fourth inning, but Skyline responded with six additional runs of their own.
Layah Hicks led Yelm in hits, going 1 for 2 in the contest. Hoke started for the Tornados and Erickson pitched in relief. Defensively, the Tornados tallied eight errors in the contest.
Walton said Decatur and Skyline are both strong 4A programs, which provided the team with teachable moments.
“We need to focus on cleaning up our defense and put the ball in play more often each inning,” Walton said. “We still have a positive outlook for the rest of the season.”
The Tornados were set to play their first home game of the season on Wednesday, March 22, against Eatonville High School.
Then on Friday, March 25, Yelm will travel to Bellevue College to play Ellensburg and East Valley high schools. They’ll play Ellensburg at 5 p.m. and East Valley at 7 p.m.
Yelm will begin South Sound Conference action on Monday, March 27, at home against Gig Harbor. They will then host Peninsula on Tuesday, March 28, before traveling to Timberline on Thursday, March 30.
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