Pe-Ell Willapa Valley used the proven combination of good pitching and timely hitting to avenge a loss earlier in the season, beating Adna 7-0 to win the 2B District title on Saturday in Centralia.
The Titans (19-4 overall) lost to Adna (22-8) — the state’s top-ranked team in the 2B class — 5-1 earlier in the season, but PWV looked to turn the page with two runs in the first inning.
Britney Patrick got the scoring started with an RBI ground out that drove in Katie Adkins.
PWV pitcher Olivia Matlock helped her own cause with an RBI single to give the Titans a 2-0 lead in the first.
Staying relaxed in high-pressure playoff game can be a challenge but the Titans remained calm leading up to the district championship match, even when PWV head coach Ken Olson struggled to do so.
“Everything comes down to confidence. I think we were really loose at the beginning. That’s an awesome team over there and we were calm, so that helped us,” he said. “Earlier this week, (my players) told me I was getting too stressed and that I had to calm down. I wasn’t as calm as I could have been, but it was all good energy and they feed off of that stuff.”
Matlock got more than enough run support on a day when offense was hard to come by. The freshman starter struck out seven and worked herself out of jams when the Pirates batted with runners in scoring position.
Olson gave credit to both members of the pitching battery for keeping the Pirates off the scoreboard.
“(Matlock) had them baffled I think. I don’t know because I’m not at the plate, but she had a good day,” he said. “Grace Hodel called a good game and the kids made plays.”
PWV picked up its third run of the game on an error by shortstop Kaylee Ashley that allowed Katelyn McGough to score. The Titans capitalized on another error in the third inning to go up 4-0.
That would be more than enough run support for Matlock, who said that she’s only getting more confident in her pitches as the postseason run continues.
“I really felt good about my rise ball and my curve ball. Everything has just been working really good lately,” she said.
The Titans came up with one more rally to put the game out of reach for good in the fourth inning. Kamryn Adkins, Matlock and Hodel all came up with RBI singles to drive in the the last three runs and produce the 7-0 victory.
Adna had several potential rallies extinguished earlier in the game and found it even harder to threaten the Titans lead in the later innings as Matlock retired nine of the last 10 batters she faced.
Olson was feeling confident in his player’s skills after shutting out an Adna team that had scored 24 runs over its previous two district tournament games.
He said he thinks it’s time their abilities be recognized.
“The kids do the work, I just kind of guide them along. This isn’t rocket science,” he said. “Too much is made of how they’re coached. These kids are just good.”
Adna 000 000 0 – 0 2 2
PWV 211 300 0 – 7 5 1
WP – Matlock (2 H, 0 R, 3 BB); LP – Haley Rainey (5 ER, 3 H, 3 BB)
Top Hitters: McGough (2-4, 3 R), Kamryn Adkins (RBI, R), Matlock (RBI, R)
Ocosta 19, Toutle Lake 9
Kaylee Barnum’s bat stayed hot as the senior slugger came up with four hits and three RBI in Ocosta’s 19-9 win over Toutle Lake.
Ocosta (13-10) didn’t waste any time flexing its offensive power, plating seven runs in the first inning. Kristi Raffelson had a big at-bat in the inning, driving in two, including Barnum, with a double.
Barnum flexed her power again in the fourth, hitting her fourth homer of the tournament to lead off the frame.
In the circle, Mekenna Fletcher kept things stable and pitched through five errors while only allowing four earned runs.
Ocosta’s win placed them in the final round of the consolation bracket against Onalaska.
Toutle Lake 201 402 – 9 7 3
Ocosta 701 335 – 19 14 5
WP – Fletcher (4 K, 3 BB, 4 ER); LP – Jasmine Smith (4 IP, 5 ER.4 K, 5 BB)
Top Hitters: Toutle Lake – Casey Wentz (HR, 2 RBI, 3 R) Keeley Studebaker-Smith (HR, 2 RBI); Ocosta – Kaylee Banrum (4-4, 3 RBI, HR) Ryann Rafflelson (3-3, HR, 3 RBI), Lillian Banrum (3-3, 2 RBI).
Ocosta 16, Onalaska 1
The Wildcats won the consolation bracket of the 2B District Tournament and secured the third seed at state in emphatic fashion with a 16-1 win over Onalaska.
The Wildcats (14-10) made all of their noise in the second inning, where they batted around twice. Ocosta got back-to-back homers from Kaylee Barnum and Kristi Raffelson the second time through the lineup in the Wildcats’ 16-run inning.
Ocosta head coach Jason Barnum said the victory was sweetened by defeating the same Loggers team that beat them in the first round of the tournament.
“We were jacked up against Onalaska. We felt like we came out flat the other night and (the Loggers) were ready,” he said. “This time we were going to make sure it didn’t happen again. The girls came out and attacked the ball and were patient at the plate. Everything we work on, they put it all together.”
Onalaska 010 – 1 1 2
Ocosta 0(16)x – 16 6 1
WP – Graham (1 H, 2 K), LP – Dylan Zigler (1.1 IP, 10 ER, 5 BB)
Top Players: Ocosta – Kaylee Barnum (BB, HR, 3 RBI ), Raffleson (BB, HR), Kiana Battiste (HR, 4 RBI, BB).