Lions softball ends drought against Curtis

The Lions’ softball team has lost 45 straight league games. They looked to end that streak Wednesday, March 29, against their crosstown rivals Curtis Vikings. Last year the Vikings had a dominant season and beat the Lions by double-digit runs in both games. This year though Curtis seemed to be more vulnerable and the Lions looked to capitalize on the opportunity.

Historically Bellarmine has had state-level softball teams but has struggled to retain relevance in the highly talented South Puget Sound League in the last few years. This year’s team is looking to flip that narrative. The Lions have a talented team highlighted by a trio of seniors: shortstop Sydney Morrison, third basemen Nora Martin, and center fielder Greta Hodges. For the Lions, it is not talent that is holding them back but balance. The squad has just one true pitcher on the roster, senior Lilly Burgess, who has thrown almost every pitch this season. This is quite unprecedented and has left her “drained” just midway through the season. Against the Vikings, Burgess would have to go out on the mound once again and find a way to pitch the whole game if Bellarmine stood a chance to win.

The Lions trailed early in the game but when Curtis pitcher Rory Reyes-redhair came out of the game the Lions saw their opportunity and struck. The Lions went on a rally in the third inning putting six runs on the board by staying patient at the plate and driving in runners on base. The Lions were tied in the fifth and were looking to scrap across one more run when Curtis brought Reyes-redhair back in the game. Senior Greta Hodges went up to bat and drew a walk. After stealing second and advancing to third on a passed ball, Hodges eventually made it home on a bang-bang play at the plate.

In the sixth inning, the Lions were in some trouble with runners on base and no outs but a double play ball cleared the bases and, eventually, Bellarmine got out of the jam. In the top of the seventh, all the Lions needed to do was get three more outs and they would have their first league win since 2018. Burgess struck out the leadoff man and after an easy ground ball, just one more out was needed. Burgess threw her last pitch of the game as an easy fly out to Lyla Hulse in right field ending the game and subsequently ending the drought. The girls were jubilant on the field after the win and could finally say they had a league win.

#8 Lyla Hulse catches the game winning pop up in right field foul territory
(Drew Albaugh)

The girls will still be underdogs in most games going forward but this is a huge step for the softball program trying to rebuild into a league-contending team. The Lions have some interesting matchups coming up and will look to steal another league win. If the Lions can string a few wins together, playoffs are certainly not out of the question so it will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out. However, even if the Lions do not win another game this year at least they can go home saying they beat Curtis and that is something to smile about.

The Lions shake hands with the Vikings after a narrow victory. (Drew Albaugh)