After finishing their two final conference games in Kodiak with two wins, the Mariners softball team are set to go to state as the No. 1 seed for the Northern Lights Conference. Homer’s win against Kodiak on Tuesday broke the Mariner’s tie with Soldotna High School, placing them in first, said Homer High School athletic director Chris Perk.
The softball state championships will be held in Fairbanks on Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June 4.
“I think it’s been a real good season. I’ve been trying to get them to play against teams that were really a lot tougher than us just to get them used to that, like South coming down here,” said Homer High School head softball coach Bill Bell.
Homer 24, Kodiak 2
Homer once again creamed Kodiak during the Tuesday, May 24, game, winning by 22 points in the fourth inning.
Homer 24, Kodiak 0
The Mariners crushed Kodiak in the first of two games on Monday, May 23. After scoring 24 runs in the first three innings, the game was mercy-ruled with a score of 24-0 in Homer’s favor, Perk said.
McKi Needham pitched a no-hitter, Bell said.
Seniors say goodbyes
Seniors Isabel Beach, Kyah Doughty, Kelly Liebers, McKi Needham, Riley Walls and PK Woo were recognized alongside their parents at Jack Gist Field prior to the team’s game against South Anchorage on Saturday, May 21. Leaving behind their team for college and other future plans is bittersweet for the players.
“It’s really sad,” Needham said. “I’m excited to finish the season but it’s a bummer. We won’t be playing very much together anymore.”
South 14, Homer 8
The South softball team swept Homer in nonconference action on Saturday, May 21, in Homer, winning 14-8 and 11-3 to drop the Mariners to 8-8 overall.
In the 14-8 game, Homer took a 7-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but the Wolverines rolled to three runs apiece in the second and third innings and four runs apiece in the fourth and fifth innings to take control of the game.
Mary Hana Bowe was 2 for 3 with three RBIs and a run for Homer, while Isabel Beach and Malina Fellows each went 2 for 3.
McKi Needham pitched all five innings for Homer, giving up 17 hits and 14 runs — 11 earned — while striking out four and walking two.
The 11-3 game was close until the seventh inning. South led 1-0 after the first inning, but Homer tied it up in the third inning.
South then led 4-1 after six before outscoring Homer 7-2 in the final frame.
Riley Walls led Homer by finishing 2 for 4 with a run.
On the mound, Annali Metz pitched the first four innings, giving up four hits and two runs — one earned — while whiffing two and walking five.
Needham pitched the last three innings, giving up 10 hits and nine runs — four earned — while striking out two and walking one.
Homer 11, Soldotna 2
The Homer Mariners softball squad toppled Soldotna 11-2 in a five-inning Northern Lights Conference meeting Thursday, May 19, in Homer.
Riley Walls and Mary Hana Bowe combined for seven of Homer’s 11 hits on the day. Walls hit 4 for 4 with two RBI, while Bowe hit 3 for 4 with three runs and one RBI. McKi Needham went 1 for 3 with a double and two RBI, and Isabel Beach blasted an RBI triple.
Soldotna only recorded two hits, one each from Danielle Hills and Carlin Meyer. Meyer batted in both SoHi runs.
In the pitching circle, Needham earned the win with a complete game, giving up two hits and no walks with four strikeouts. For SoHi, Emily Jackson went 4 2-3 innings and gave up nine earned runs on 11 hits, while walking four and striking out two.
Homer opened up a 4-0 lead after three innings while holding SoHi scoreless. The Stars finally plated a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, but Homer added five runs in the bottom of the fifth to ice the win. Homer improved to 8-6 overall with the victory.
Homer News reporter Anna Frost contributed to this story.