Union softball attracts quite an atmosphere
There were football players working the hot dog grill, a grill they brought themselves to place behind the stands, behind the backstop.
The track and field team and the soccer team lined the outfield fence, from right field to left field.
The bleachers were full, too.
All this for a non-league, regular-season softball game.
But Union turned it into an event.
Roughly 300 people in all showed up to watch Union take on Kelso, a game featuring the Seattle Times’ top-ranked teams in the state for 3A and 4A.
“That’s an unbelievable number,” Union coach Alex Perry said of the crowd. “That’s Union, though. We get kids who support each other.”
There were tennis players there, too. The baseball players, who practiced at a nearby field, kept peaking over to look in on the game. As soon as their practice ended, they walked over to the softball field.
The volleyball coach was there. So, too, was the boys basketball coach. The school principal made an appearance.
Again, it was a big event.
The Titans know they are not well liked among the other schools in Clark County. Perhaps the Titans got too good, too quick. Whatever the reason, the Union athletes feel that everybody outside of Union is rooting against them. Perhaps that is why the athletes and coaches rally around each other.
Perry knew there would be a bigger than usual crowd, but he was impressed at the atmosphere Wednesday.
“The girls have played in front of big crowds in their summer tournaments. But it’s adults. This is their peers,” Perry said. “Handling that kind of pressure is definitely something we talked about.”
The talk must have worked.
Union’s Mariah Dawson struck out 17, and Alexis Cline’s two-run double in the fifth inning gave the Titans a 3-2 victory.
And all was well with the big crowd from Union.