With one series left to go, the Bellevue College softball team is nearly unstoppable. They have a NWAC conference-leading 36-5 record overall, including a 25-3 record within their conference. The last couple weeks featured contests against the better teams in the North Region, although they still remain far below the Bulldogs.
The first of the last four series featured a matchup against Skagit Valley, who are desperately fighting for the last playoff spot with Highline and Olympic. Game one ended in a 9-3 victory, headlined by a complete game thrown by Rhaney Harris. Seven of the nine members of the Bellevue lineup hit in a run, and even catcher Megan Paoli was driven in twice. Bellevue turned up the heat in game two, and they pitched their way to an 18-0 no-hitter. Carrisa McDowell and Macey Sykes combined for five hitless innings to support the deadly Bellevue offense. Left fielder Tori McDowell and designated player Nashoni Boyd both batted in five runs each, with second baseman Megan Marino driving in three.
The next series against Douglas featured the only loss Bellevue has taken since March 28, but the Bulldogs still had the opportunity to grab a 9-1 victory in the first game. Tori McDowell led the team in RBIs with two, and Macey Sykes pitched all seven innings for a complete game. Harris took the brunt of the 7-6 beating, as she allowed four earned runs in three innings. First baseman Katie Noble still managed two RBIs off a two-run triple in the fifth inning.
The third series against the second-place Edmonds forced space between the two teams as Bellevue took both. Harris pitched all five innings for the win, and Tori McDowell managed five RBIs off three hits, including two home runs. A two-run home run by Boyd in the first inning headlined a three-RBI night for her as well. Game two was another clean victory, as the Bulldogs took it 12-4 to sweep the series. Tori McDowell hit for five RBIs, yet again, featuring a three-run home run in the first. Carrisa McDowell also had four RBIs of her own, all coming from a grand slam in the fourth.
Most recently, Bellevue took on Everett for two games, winning both . Game one was another decisive 10-2 win, with Harris once again pitching the entire game. Through six innings she only allowed two runs, each driven in by Everett second baseman Lizzy Dillard. Harris also struck out eight while only walking three. Paoli drove in four runs off three hits, and Marino drove in three off of a single hit and a bases-loaded walk. The Bulldogs allowed eight runs in the second game but made up for it by scoring 17. Marino and Noble hit for four RBIs a piece, both of whom hit home runs. Noble even managed a perfect 4-4 game, hitting two singles and a double to compliment her home run.
Playoffs are coming, and Bellevue is the team to beat. In all three Coaches Polls this year, Bellevue has been ranked as the top team in the Northwest Athletic Conference. They are showing no signs of slowing down and are clear favorites for the championship.
Photo by Eliot Gentiluomo, The Watchdog