A little girl that wanted to grow up and become a Crimson Bears softball player had a career day in the black and red of JDHS on Wednesday night at Melvin Park with a home run to deep left field. Her “rookie” teammate ended a high school career in a sport she never played before.
Together they represented the senior class of 2012 at JDHS, the community of Juneau, and the future hopes of little softball players everywhere.
“I feel pretty good,” senior pitcher Ashli Kikendall said after the Crimson Bears topped Thunder Mountain 11-1 in five innings. “I have been waiting my whole career to hit one out and now I have two. It has been great. It was so nice playing with these guys, it is a great way to go out.”
Kikendall threw three innings, striking out five, walking two and allowing one run on one hit. She also scored one run, had two hits and 5 RBI including the second home run of her career.
Senior teammate Savannah Dingdinger hit the ball hard once, reached base once on a walk and made some plays in left field.
“It is my second year,” Dingdinger said. “I do all right, I could do better but it’s okay. I love the team and that is what I love about softball. And I made it on base so I feel good. This is probably the most committed I have ever been to a sport and I loved the season.”
The Falcons scored first as Katherine Wray doubled in the second inning and advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a fielder’s choice hit by Jordyn Campbell.
The Crimson Bears scored twice in their half of the inning as Randi Held singled and advanced to second and third on pitches. Kikendall sacrificed Held across. Rachel Doogan then walked, advanced to second on an Emma Good single and scored on Andrea Gordon’s fly to right field.
The Crimson Bears would tack on seven runs in the third to put the game out of reach. Malin Murray reached on error and Meiners tripled her home. Held singled in Meiners and Kikendall homered. Doogan doubled but was tagged out later at home on a fielder’s choice on a Good hit. Gordon reached on error and Good scored and Balovich reached on error and Gordon scored. Murray walked and Meiners singled the bases full and Balovich scored on a throwing play.
The Crimson Bears final two runs came in the five to end the game. Murray singled to left, Meiners doubled to right and Fagerstrom reached on a fielder’s choice to Falcon’s pitcher Devyn Kubley. Kikendall singled scoring Murray and Meiners scored on a play against Fagerstrom.
Balovich pitched two innings of relief, allowing one hit, with one walk and striking out five.
Kubley threw four innings allowing 13 hits, 11 runs, seven earned runs, walked six and struck out one. The Falcons twice made excellent fielding choices to get out of two bases-loaded jams and held the Crimson Bears scoreless in two innings.
The JDHS team composed the two Crimson Bears’ senior’s bios.
Kikendall’s stated she has been playing softball for 8 years, starting with Little League and Midnight Suns playing as a Pitcher and at 1st Base. From the time she was little going to summer camps she had always wanted to be a Crimson Bear. She was on the State Champion All Stars Little League Team in 2008 and played Varsity for four years at JDHS. In 2010 she was awarded “Good Sportsmanship” at the state tournament. Her favorite colors are blue, red and purple. She likes to fish, garden, travel and cook. Her favorite TV shows are Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman and No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain. She will be attending Washington State University in the fall and plans on majoring in Civil Engineering with a minor in Business. After college she plans on finding a job and to eventually work abroad. Her goal is to own an Engineering Firm someday.
Dingdinger’s stated that she started playing JDHS softball just last year. She has been a great asset to the team on and off the field, especially with her humorous personality. She plans on going to Cal State Northridge in the fall. She joked that she will be finding a husband and majoring in business on the side while in fact coaches said she is one of the most intelligent players. Although she only started playing softball last year, she has really loved it. Unfortunately, she won’t be continuing to play at the college level. She loved high school and she is really nervous but excited to go on to the next stage of her life.
Kikendall started her career as an Expo in the Gastineau Channel Little League system.
“Softball has kind of consumed a lot of who I am,” Kikendall said. “It is my life I guess.”