Truth is often stranger than fiction, as Mark Twain once said. But after the Woodinville Falcons concluded their regular season by pounding Issaquah 11-0 and Mount Si 13-0, we should pause to reflect.
Sure, the Lady Falcons finished their regular season with 20 wins and 0 losses. They’ll head to the KingCo playoffs this week.
But are you in the mood for some absurd stats? As of this writing, the Falcons have pitched six shutouts in a row. In that span, they’ve outscored their opponents 57-0. Taylor Rhinehart, Lauryn Rhinehart and Olivia Riener have all contributed as the team’s starting pitchers.
These girls aren’t old enough to remember Orel Hershiser. These girls weren’t even born when Hershiser tossed 59 consecutive scoreless innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988. (The Dodgers went on to win the World Series, by the way). That streak was incredible to see back then, and it’s eye-popping now to witness what Woodinville’s doing.
Last week versus Issaquah, the team mood was upbeat but also accompanied by a sense of “business as usual.”
Bailey Burger-Moore got things going with an RBI single in the second inning. Lauryn Rhinehart followed by driving in a run. And then Taylor Rhinehart unloaded with a 3-run bomb. Woodinville led 5-0.
In the next inning, Jordyn Boyd smacked a 2-run double to make it 7-0. And then in the bottom of the 4th, Paige Grover smashed a grand slam to dead center field, pushing her Falcons into a double digit lead which invoked the so-called “Mercy Rule” and ended the game.
“I just know when I get up there that I need to drive in runs,” Grover said with a shrug. “I need to drive it deep, one run at a time. I got the solid part of the bat on the solid part of the ball. It felt good when it connected.”
Woodinville coach Dani Weir was quietly pleased with the performance.
“It was a real team win,” weir said. “It wasn’t a dominant pitching performance. We needed to make plays, we held runners [from scoring] when we needed to, and we were able to draw first blood on the scoreboard.”
When it was mentioned to Weir that her team had racked up 6 shutouts in a row, she shook her head in seeming astonishment.
“It shows good pitching and good defense,” she said. Then she emphasized the total team effort.
“For us to settle in and find our roles, even for the girls in the dugout who maybe don’t play as much, they are right at the [dugout] fence ready to get their jobs done too,” Weir said. “You’re seeing what happens on the field. But when you see all the stuff behind the scenes settling in, you can get a true picture of how the whole [system] is working well right now.
“Everyone is stoked to be a part of this and wanting to help anyway they can,” she said.