Home sweet home, the Bulldogs win the first of the season


The Sandpoint High School softball team adapted to play at War Memorial Field for the first time this season Thursday against Bonners Ferry.

The Bulldogs felt right at home as they beat the Badgers 28-5.

“It’s great to get this first win of the season,” said Sandpoint softball coach Elizabeth Hawkins-Williams. “It should boost the confidence of all the girls who played today and I have to get almost everyone involved.”

Sandpoint wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, making six runs in the first inning.

Senior Kaylee Brackett drilled an RBI single to put the Bulldogs ahead 1-0.

Kaila Tunistra came to bat after Brackett’s single and hit a 3-run RBI triple to give the Bulldogs a 4-0 lead.

Sandpoint handled the bases exceptionally well throughout the contest, which was a point of attention heading into Thursday’s game.

“Basic running is a lot harder than some people think,” Hawkins-Williams said. “There are a lot of nuances that you have to experience to learn. Base running was one of the focus today so it was great to see the improvement.

Senior Kivia Barlow took over on the mound for Cresanna Authier in the top of the third.

Bonners Ferry scored five points once Barlow took over.

She finished the inning with a strikeout and managed to find her footing throughout the contest.

“She was really nervous in that first run,” Hawkins-Williams said. “Once she got that under her belt, she was ready to play.”

The Bulldogs went 1-2-3 in the fourth and put the Badgers away in four at bats in the final inning.

“They played a lot better defensively than we have in the past,” Hawkins-Williams said. “They were ready for the ball today. That’s why we were able to get out of the innings so quickly.

It was Barlow’s second time on the mound for the Bulldogs this season, finishing with two strikeouts and a walk.

In the final, she threw a rising ball. This field is very important for the senior.

“I was learning a curve ball and it just kept going up,” Barlow said. “It’s just started to work and this season it just clicked. I’ve been running it very regularly.

The Bulldogs opened the floodgates late in the third inning.

Sandpoint brought home 14 runners to take a 21-5 lead.

Aspen Schwenk had two hits with three RBIs in just the third inning.

First, she drilled a 2-run RBI single to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 18-5.

On her next at bat, she hit a 1-run RBI single to give Sandpoint a 24-5 lead.

Both Bella Crum and Authier hit RBI singles after Schwenk was at bat to give Sandpoint a 27-5 lead.

Sandpoint’s victory over Bonners Ferry was his first victory of the season and it also served as a senior night for the Bulldogs.

According to Brackett, being back at Memorial Field with senior nighttime energy made their first victory that much sweeter.

“I think it’s great,” she said. “Especially with this team, we’ve all been playing together for a long time now.”

The senior class has formed a very close bond, according to Barlow.

“We’re all best friends,” Barlow said. “It’s nice to shoot knowing that I have all these players supporting me. It’s a lot less pressure.

Sandpoint improved to 1-6 overall and next travels to Post Falls High School on Saturday, April 16 to face the Trojans in a doubleheader.

BONNERS FERRY 005 00 — 5 4 4

SAND STITCH 67(14) 1X — 28 15 1

Cressana Authier, Barlow (2) and Jaidyn Inman. J. Curtis and S. Rickter.

HITS – BF: A. Fredrickson, J. Falck 2, K. Sumpter. SPT—Inman 2, Schwenk 2, Brackett 3, Barlow 3, Crum, Tuinstra 2, Authier, Cessna. 2B — Sumpter, Authier. 3B—Inman, Tuinstra.

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