Leah Francis, head softball coach at Bellevue College, has put together yet another stunning season, and fans and players have plenty of reason to be excited.
The team streaked into first place near the end of the regular season with a 13 of 14 run, and proved itself as the best in its division. The strengths of the team were obvious.
“We had really good pitching” Michelle Ruby said.
Ruby has good reason to respect the pitching, as she was part of the team’s strong staff. Ruby was one of the league leaders in wins, and her closer, Lauren Reid, was a league leader in saves.
Teammate Korri Heideman seemed to agree that the pitching staff had been a big part of the team’s success, saying “We lucked out this year with really good pitching. Not very many teams in our league had two awesome and experienced pitchers, Ruby and Reid.”
However, good teams need more than just pitching to win. Thankfully, this team had bats.
Heideman said “We also had a lot of power, one through nine in our lineup all hit at least one home run this year and it’s nice to have confidence that any one person in the lineup can come through in the clutch.”
This team seemed to have another asset that the opposition sometimes lacked: heart.
“We were very pumped. We knew that we could beat any team out there as long as we played BC softball,” Ruby said.
“The team was totally different from last year’s team. I’ve always been on teams that had really distinct leadership, but this year everyone was a leader. It was nice that any one girl on the team could just go up to the other and be like ‘hey pull your head out of your ass,’ and have it all be good,” said Heideman.
The softball season was full of memorable moments for this team, one of which was the absolute spanking of then top-ranked Columbia Basin in a 12-0 romp.
“They were the number one seeded team in the NWAACC and were expected to blow us out,” said Heideman. ”We had amazing bats that game. I hit for the cycle for the first time and our pitching absolutely dominated them.”
The future continues to look bright for this program, with Francis expecting many of her players to return, as well as a large class of ball-playing freshmen.
“I think the team will be very good next year. This year, having only 11 girls and most of them returning sophomores, coach recruited heavily. Bellevue is going to have it all next year: speed, power and talent. I will be surprised if with the skill level and coaching they will get they don’t take NWAACCs”.
The club has been in the NWAACC playoffs the last four years, and is widely expected to retun next year.