The dark clouds loomed overhead and looked ominous. There was a feeling of foreboding in the air. Sure enough, by the third inning, the clouds unleashed a hail storm that forced a delay in last Tuesday’s game.
But when play resumed, it was the Woodinville offense that erupted in Biblical proportions. The Lady Falcons scored twelve runs in the fourth inning, in route to a 17-6 win over Mount Si. The win improved Woodinville’s record to 9-2 in Kingco 4A and 11-2 overall.
“We had a slow start, we were struggling with the pitcher,” Woodinville’s Alex Nyberg said. “But we found it after that and it all clicked.”
In that monumental fourth inning, the first ten Woodinville batters reached base safely. The banner moment was Molly Taketa’s grand salami homer over the left field wall.
“I knew there were no outs with the bases loaded,” Taketa said. “I was just looking for something to drive to the outfield to bring in a couple runs. It showed up inside and I was ready for that inside pitch. It felt good off the bat.”
Mikaelie Sullivan and Jaelyn Cowin had three hits apiece for the day. Brooke Tilson scored on a passed ball, diving across home plate in Pete Rose fashion. And freshman catcher Taylor Fitch got the start and produced four base hits and 2 RBIs.
“I’ve been wanting her to get her reps and her at bats,” Woodinville coach Dani Tachell said of Fitch. “I want to get her comfortable hitting in this [varsity] lineup.”
“Taylor is great,” said sophomore pitcher Alex Nyberg. “She and I work well together [as a pitcher-catcher battery]. We have really good chemistry. We’re a good duo.”
ALEX NYBERG AND THE EEPHUS PITCH
Nyberg drew some oohs and ahhs during the Mount Si Game. On several occasions, she threw a slow, high-looping change-up to good effect. It was reminiscent of the “Eephus Pitch”, popularized by Pittsburgh’s Rip Sewell in the 1930s and 1940s.
“I started working on this new pitch a couple weeks before the season,” Nyberg said. “It’s pretty effective but I’m still working on it to get more consistent.”
“When she’s missing with it she is missing it right,” Coach Tachell said. “She’s not giving hitters something easy to hit. She has grown up a lot in that way. The pitch is effective in that way.”
Nyberg had never heard of the Eephus Pitch. But one of its most famous stories came from the 1946 Major League All-Star Game at Boston’s Fenway Park. Rip Sewell threw one to the great Ted Williams, who swung at it and missed. The crowd erupted in laughter. Williams stepped out of the batter’s box and challenged Sewell to throw it again. Sewell complied, and this time Williams blasted it over the right field wall.
There are some entertaining videos of this moment on YouTube.