Yelm Tornadoes take aim at piece of fastpitch title

Contributing writerMay 8, 2014 

No one would have blamed Jessilyn Enlow had she called it a game.

The Yelm pitcher was struck on the right hand by a well-hit line drive in the fourth inning.

Despite some pain and discomfort she shrugged it off and elected to stay on the mound.

Three innings later, she discovered the perfect remedy.

Enlow singled in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to power the Tornados to a 2-1 victory over Olympia in a thrilling 4A Narrows League fastpitch game Wednesday in Yelm.

Yelm (13-3, 9-2 Narrows) places itself in excellent position to grab a share of the league title.

The loss snapped the Bears’ 11-game winning streak. A win and Olympia (16-3 overall, 10-2 league) would have wrapped up the 4A Narrows title.

Now the Bears must wait until Thursday’s outcome between Yelm and Bellarmine Prep.

A Yelm win ties the two teams atop the standings, forcing a third game between the two to determine the championship.

“Bellarmine’s a very good team,” Olympia coach Matt Loes said, “but we fully expect Yelm to win tomorrow and we will get ready for a third game with them.”

Backed by a stellar pitching performance from Maddy Stensby, the Bears took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh.

Stensby had silenced Yelm batters through six, limiting the Tornados to a pair of singles.

Yelm respond with four hits in the inning, sparked by Megan Mendonca’s leadoff single. A Savannah Brown single followed before Tayler Finch tied the game with an RBI bunt.

With one out, Enlow connected, knocking in Finch for the winning run.

The hit drew a celebration at home with Enlow in the middle of it all.

It was quite a different scene three innings before when a line drive bounced off her hands.

“It hurt bad right after it happened,” said Enlow, who received a brief stoppage of play while being examined by Yelm’s coaching staff. “I could definitely feel it for a while, but once I got a few batters in I didn’t really think about it too much.”

Enlow limited Olympia’s potent offense to seven hits, with a Leticia Farias double in the second inning being the Bears’ only extra-base hit.

“Both pitchers were incredible” Yelm coach Lindsay Walton said. “We didn’t get many hits early on, but we got them when they counted.”

Farias scored on Bri Bell’s single in the second inning for Olympia.

The Bears had runners on second and third in the third but were unable to add to their lead.

Maddy Newkirk led off the top of the seventh by ripping a single down the third-base line. It was the only hit for Olympia in the final two innings as Enlow retired nine out of the last 10 batters she faced.

Stensby was equally impressive, retiring 18 of the first 20 Yelm batters.

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