The Elma Eagles and Montesano Bulldogs are headed for a state semifinal showdown after each won two games at the 1A State Tournament on Friday in Richland.
1A State Tournament
Elma 7, Warden 4
The game appeared to be out of reach for Elma with two outs in the top of the seventh, but the Eagles scored five runs to pull out a 7-4 victory over Warden in the first round of the 1A State Tournament on Friday.
Elma (23-2 overall) trailed 4-2 heading into the final frame and got its game-winning rally started with a single from Chloe Clark. Kassedy Olson kept the inning alive with a single and Kali Rambo plated the first run of the inning with an RBI single to bring the score to 4-3.
Quin Mikel put her team ahead 5-4 with a clutch RBI single up the middle, giving the Eagles the lead for the first time since the fourth inning.
Elma’s Destry Dineen provided some insurance with an RBI triple into the right-centerfield gap that plated two more runs to put the Eagles up 7-4.
Until the seventh inning, home runs accounted for all the runs scored. Elma’s Molly Johnston got the scoring started with a two-run homer of the center-field wall and Warden responded in the bottom of the inning when Kiana Rios hit two-run shot to tie the game.
Jocelyn Chagoya put Warden (21-4) ahead temporarily with a two-run home run to make it 4-2.
Elma 000 200 5 – 7 7 1
Warden 000 022 0 – 4 4 1
WP – Mikel (8 K, BB 3 ER); LP – Rios (4 K, 7 ER, HBP, BB)
Top Hitters: Elma – Olson (3-4, 2 R); Dineen (3 B, 2 RBI); Johnston (HR, 2 RBI, 2 R). Warden – Rios (HR); Chagoya (HR, 2 RBI).
Elma 13, Seattle Christian 3
In sharp contrast the dramatics that punctuated its opening game, Elma didn’t have much trouble with its opponent in the second round of the 1A State Tournament, defeating Seattle Christian 13-3 in six innings.
Elma (23-3 overall) put up six runs in the second inning to take a 9-0 lead after two innings of play. The big inning was fueled by errors and timely hitting.
Kali Rambo drove in two in the frame on a single up the middle and the Eagles scored another four runs in the frame on passed balls and walks.
Elma head coach Roger Elliot said it was good to see the bats get off to a faster start after the offense was slow out of the gate against Warden.
“I’m feeling a lot better after winning the first game. My heart stopped when we got two outs in the bottom of the seventh,” he said. “It took all 21 outs to win that game and in this game we came out and hit a lot better. Shots were going through, their pitcher struggled a little bit, so we took advantage.”
Rambo went 4-for-5 in the game and came into the contest confident the Eagles would be able to put up some runs early.
“We were confident about our matchup against this team. We knew what they could do after watching them earlier,” she said.
Quin Mikel didn’t have any trouble in the circle and pitched the first four innings without surrendering a run and struck out six before the Eagles brought in Destry Dineen to pitch the last two innings.
With the win Elma has earned a spot in the state semifinal, where it will face East County-rival Montesano, which defeated College Park 3-1.
Mikel said she respects the skill Monte brings to the plate but isn’t going to overthink her game when she faces them Saturday morning.
“I’m just going to try to trust my defense behind me and hit my spots,” she said.
Both teams beat each other in the regular season.
Elliot wasn’t sure how the bracket would shake out, but he figured his team would have to go through the Bulldogs to earn a state title.
“You have to go through the best to be the best and that’s Monte,” he said. “They’re one or two every year so you know you’re going to play them if you want to win the championship. We’re going to give them our best shot.”
Elma 360 103 – 13 9 1
Seattle Christian 000 030 – 3 3 4
WP – Mikel (4 IP, 6 K, BB); LP – Justyce Porter (6 IP, 7 ER, 4 BB)
Top Hitters: Elma – Rambo (4-5, 2 RB) Molly Johsnton (3B, 2 RBI)
Montesano 17, Coupeville 1
Lindsay Pace paced the offense with four RBI in Montesano’s 17-1 win over Coupeville in the opening round of the 1A State tournament Friday morning.
Montesano (20-5) started out quickly by scoring twice in the first inning and blew the game open when it tacked on five more runs in the second to push the lead to 7-0.
Errors also played a factor in the blowout as Coupeville (15-10) committed four errors in the three inning affair. Scout Smith had a rough day in the circle for the Wolves and gave up 13 runs, seven of which were earned.
Janessa Otterstetter also had a big day at the plate in Monte’s offensive explosion, collecting three hits including a double while driving in four runs.
Coupeville 000 1 – 1 2 4
Montesano 256 4 – 17 15 2
WP – Pace (3 IP, 7 K, H); LP – Smith (11 H, 7 ER, 2 BB)
Top Players: Montesano — Otterstetter (4 RBI, 2B), Pace ( 4 RBI, 2 3B), Emma Jensen (2 RBI) Abbi Parkin (2 RBI)
Montesano 3, College Park 1
On the strength of Lindsay Pace’s no-hitter, Montesano came away with a 3-1 win over College Place on Friday afternoon to advance to the state semifinal round.
Montesano picked up its first run of the game on a single from Katie Granstrom and added an insurance run on Emma Jensen’s bouncing single up the middle.
College Place (18-8) didn’t get a hit off of Pace and scored its only run on an infield error to cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth.
Montesano head coach Pat Pace said his team struggled to stay relaxed at times and pulled through thanks to Lindsay Pace’s performance.
“We made a lot of mistakes. I think we had some nerves going on since the game stayed tight,” he said. “I’m really happy with the way Lindsay Pace battled, especially as she is being watched closely to make sure she’s not jumping. I thought she settled down and threw a great game.”
Pace struck out 14 batters and only surrendered two walks in her outing.
Monte put runners on base with nine hits but never blew the game open. The Bulldogs added another run in the sixth inning thanks to a Jensen single that provided all the cushion Pace would need.
Lindsay Pace said College Place Paris Orchard had a breaking ball that was hard for the Bulldogs to get adjusted to.
“She had a curve or something weird and her rise ball really caught us off guard,” she said.
Coach Pace said that he’ll be looking for more patient at-bats against Elma on Saturday at 9 a.m and hopes his team can make the adjustment.
“We need to be a little more patient at the plate, but we’ll be geared up for tomorrow,” he said. “It’ll be a good East County Showdown.”
One with a berth in the state title game at stake.
College Place 000 100 0 – 1 0 4
Montesano 002 010 x – 3 9 2
WP – Pace (0 H, 2 BB, 14 K); LP – Orchard (9 H, 0 ER, 5 K)
Top Players: Montesano – Emma Jensen (RBI), Katie Granstom (RBI), Matt Ekerson (3B)