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Bulldog softball makes early exit at state tournament

Monte's Madison Didion pitched a shutout against Nooksack Valley in the first round of the Class 1A state tournament on Friday.Buy Photo
Monte's Madison Didion pitched a shutout against Nooksack Valley in the first round of the Class 1A state tournament on Friday.
Hannah Jensen contributed two hits and three RBIs in Montesanos 9-0 win over Nooksack Valley in the opening round of the Class 1A state tournament on Friday.Buy Photo
Hannah Jensen contributed two hits and three RBIs in Montesanos 9-0 win over Nooksack Valley in the opening round of the Class 1A state tournament on Friday.

It wasn’t the Seattle Seahawk defensive backfield, but a different “Legion of Boom” that doomed the Montesano High School softball team at the Class 1A state championship in Richland on Friday.

The Bulldogs came out on fire offensively with each starter getting a hit in the first round of the tournament with a 9-0 win over Nooksack Valley. But Monte struggled at the plate the rest of the day with runners left on base. Monte fell behind 3-0 to Mt. Baker in the second round and, despite several offensive opportunities, the Bulldogs could not capitalize, leaving the bases loaded in the second and third innings. Mt. Baker did not score again, but neither did Montesano in the 3-0 loss, knocking the Bulldogs into the losers bracket.

Monte ended its tournament later that evening with a 10-3 loss to Woodland.

“You hate to see it end on a loss,” coach Pat Pace said. “Today was just a game of missed opportunities offensively for us. We just left too many runners on base. We just didn’t get the hit that dropped to move on. Our timely hitting wasn’t there. When you come to the state tournament everything needs to click and it just didn’t.”

While they weren’t able to earn a spot in the state championship, the Bulldogs won the Evergreen 1A League and District IV titles for the first time since 2009, a feat Pace credited to the chemistry of the team and the senior leaders.

“The senior group, they are great leaders,” Pace said. “They helped create the chemistry that we had this year. All I can hope is that some of the underclassmen learn from them so they can carry on what they did this year. They made the season fun. Win or lose it was a fun season. A lot of those underclassmen we already have prepared for next season as we have worked with them at the spots that we plan on putting them at next year. If we just build on those underclassmen we are going to be pretty strong next year.”