Liberty softball team falls short in state tournament

June 5, 2008

By J.B. Wogan

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Liberty’s Kate Faoro steals second base, beating the throw to Enumclaw shortstop Taylor Franich in first round fastpitch state playoff action. Photo by Greg Farrar

At the 3A state softball tournament, Liberty High School showed up. That was enough for head coach Brian Hartman.“We knew it was a huge accomplishment to get to the state tournament again,” he said. “We had overachieved by getting there.”

Liberty went 1-2 at the tournament, ending a rollercoaster season for the Patriots.

During the regular season, Liberty tied with Skyline for third in 3A KingCo. The Patriots had a 10-6 league record, and nearly missed the state tournament when they lost back-to-back games in the KingCo championships – 10-0 to Issaquah and 7-5 to Skyline.

But wins against Eastside Catholic, Holy Names and Skyline in the Sea-King 3A District tournament May 15-16 earned Liberty a berth in the state playoffs at SERA fields in Tacoma.

Then, the Patriots unleashed an offensive display against Enumclaw to win 15-5 in their first-round game May 23.

“We just came out swinging the bats well, very relaxed,” Hartman said.

Five Liberty batters connected for two or more hits against Enumclaw, including junior Montessa Califano, who went 3-for-4 at the plate. Her sister Aris Califano, a sophomore, went 2-for-4 and recorded two stolen bases.

Later the same day, Liberty fell to Everett 0-8 and Bainbridge 0-11.

“We knew we weren’t going to win the thing,” Hartman said. “Our goal was just to play as hard as we could and enjoy our time together. There was nothing disappointing to me about it.”

Liberty’s postseason hopes were hampered by starting pitcher Bree Bartholomew’s unfortunate case of elbow tendonitis, which flared up in mid-April.

“She would have been as good as anyone in KingCo,” Hartman said.

The Liberty ace plans to pitch next year at the college level for Minot State University in Minot, N.D.
In light of Bartholomew’s injury, the Patriots then had to shuffle their defensive positions, switching catcher Jesi Siemons to pitcher.

Siemons, a senior, started all three games at the state tournament, logging in 18 consecutive innings before Hartman relieved her. Before Bartholomew’s injury, Siemons had not pitched a Liberty game since her freshman season.

“She’s as tough and as gritty a player as any I’ve ever coached,” Hartman said.

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