TWIN FALLS – The battle for the Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference softball championship was unclear for two innings. Filer removed the haze in the top of the third.
A three-run home run capped a five-run third inning for the Wildcats. They took an 8-4 lead at that point, and the four-run margin proved more than enough. Top-seeded Filer, which beat Kimberly earlier in the day, beat second-seeded Buhl 9-6 Monday at the College of Southern Idaho to force a winner-take-all district title game.
“They decided they weren’t satisfied with just a (regular season) conference title,” Filer coach Buck Taylor said. “They wanted to go to work and get the job done. I’m proud of them for doing that.”
Buhl answered Filer’s one-run top of the first with a two-run bottom half. Two more Wildcat runs in the second were negated by another pair from Buhl.
But Filer could not be buried.
The Wildcats scored two runs with one out in the top of the third when Roz Triplett came to the plate. The senior was mainly an opposite field hitter during her first three seasons, but she adopted a more pull-happy approach this season, in part because teams were giving her room down the line.
With runners on first and third in the third inning, Triplett pulled a Madison Somers pitch down the left field line. It just stayed fair, and it just carried over the fence for a three-run homer. Suddenly, the back-and-forth game was in Filer’s command.
“I actually didn’t see it (go out),” Triplett said. “I struggled last game against (Somers), so it was awesome to feel it again.”
Filer pitcher Kathrine Ferrell settled down after that point, too. She pitched four straight scoreless innings before allowing a harmless two-run homer to Kayla Cole (2-for-3, double, walk) in the bottom of the seventh.
“I tip my cap to them,” Buhl coach Derrik Brinkman said. “They deserved the wins.”
Triplett and Rileigh Eldridge each went 3-for-4, and teammate Cera Lott (2-for-3) reached base three times.
For the Bulldogs, McKenna Brinkman and Kelbie Kennison each went 2-for-4 with an extra-base hit.
Buhl was eyeing its second straight district title on Monday. Now, it must win at Filer on Wednesday to capture the crown. The Wildcats would earn their first title since 2015 with a win.
“We’re not to the point where we’re arrogant, but we’re confident,” Triplett said.
Filer 9, Buhl 6
Filer 1 2 5 0 1 0 0 – 9 11 0
Buhl 2 2 0 0 0 0 2 – 6 12 3
Filer: Pitching – Kathrine Ferrell (W) 7 IP, 12 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 0 K.
Leading hitters – Roz Triplett 3-4, HR, 5 RBI, 2 R Cera Lott 2-3, HBP, RBI, 2 R Rileigh Eldridge 3-4, 2B, RBI, 2 R Aspen Ryan 2-4, 2 R.
Buhl: Pitching – Madison Somers (L) 7 IP, 11 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 2 K.
Leading hitters – Kayla Cole 2-3, 2B, HR, BB, 3 RBI, 2 R McKenna Brinkman 2-4, 3B, 2 RBI Kelbie Kennison 2-4, 2B Kyra Azevedo 2-3, BB, 2 R.
Filer 6, Kimberly 2
TWIN FALLS – Top-seeded Filer began its strong day with a commanding win over third-seeded Kimberly in a loser-out SCIC tournament game.
The Wildcats scored three in the bottom in the first and one in the second. The Bulldogs cut the 4-2 deficit in half through three and a half innings, but Filer scored two in the bottom of the fourth to soften the cushion.
“For us to win, we had to hit the ball. The last two weeks, we’ve just struggled getting that consistency at the plate,” Kimberly coach Rich Bishop said. “We made a few mistakes in the field. When you’re not hitting that well, you can’t afford those.”
Filer’s Roz Triplett was stellar on the mound and at the plate. The senior right-hander allowed one earned runs on six hits and no walks in seven innings, and she struck out four. She also went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.
Fellow Wildcat Idanna Cobb went 2-for-3 with a home run, and freshman Aspen Ryan went 3-for-3.
Ashlie Watts went 2-for-4 with a triple, and Aimee Olchawa went 2-for-3 with a double for Kimberly, which finished the season with a 15-10 record.
“We thought we had a good shot at the district title. Obviously, falling short of that is disappointing,” Bishop said. “Good group of girls, it just didn’t fall right for us at the end of the season.”
Filer 6, Kimberly 2
Kimberly 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 – 2 6 4
Filer 3 1 0 2 0 0 X – 6 6 3
Kimberly: Pitching – Hannah Frey (L) 6 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 7 K.
Leading hitters – Aimee Olchawa 2-3, 2B, RBI Ashley Watts 2-4, 3B, R Dezi Overacre 1-3, 2B, R.
Filer: Pitching – Roz Triplett (W) 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.
Leading hitters – Idanna Cobb 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, R Aspen Ryan 3-3, 2 R Triplett 1-3, 2B, BB, 2 RBI.