In its first 2A State Softball Tournament appearance since 2013, the Aberdeen Bobcats are bringing home some hardware.
Aberdeen (17-10 overall) advanced to play in one of the state’s final games, finishing in fourth place at the conclusion of the 2A State Softball Tournament on Saturday at Carlon Park in Selah.
2A State Softball Tournament
Ridgefield 13, Aberdeen 7
Aberdeen couldn’t hold on to a big first-inning lead as No. 3 Ridgefield’s offense overtook the Bobcats 13-7 in a state-semifinal game on Saturday.
After the Spudders (23-5) opened the scoring in the top half of the first, Aberdeen looked to deliver the early knockout blow with seven runs in the bottom half of the frame.
With the Cats up 3-1 on a two-run single by pitcher Lilly Camp and an error, Aberdeen junior Shyanna Patrick belted a line-drive three-run home run over the left-field fence – her fist of the season – to put the Cats up 6-1.
With two outs and none on in the frame, senior Maddie Gore singled and came in to score on senior infielder Aili Scott’s line-drive triple to left.
But that was the last run Aberdeen would score as Ridgefield and its prodigous offense began to chip away at the lead.
The Spudders scored three in the second and two in the third to cut the deficit to 7-6 and took an 8-7 lead on solo home runs by Elizabeth Peery and Madeline Smith in the top of the fifth.
Ridgefield added on four runs in the top of the sixth on three hits, a walk and a dropped third strike and a run in the seventh on an RBI single by Makayla Ferguson.
Camp took the loss, surrendering nine runs – eight earned – on 15 hits with five walks and eight strikeouts.
Scott (2-4, R, RBI), Alyssa Yakovich (2-3), Camp (2-4, 2 RBI) and Gore (2-3, R) had multi-hit games for the Bobcats.
Ridgefield 132 024 1 – 13 15 2
Aberdeen 700 000 0 – 7 10 2
WP: Peery (7 IP, 7 R, 5 ER, 10 H, 2 BB, K). LP: Camp (7 IP, 9 R, 8 ER, 15 H, 5 BB, 8 K).
Leading hitters: Ridgefield – Smith (4-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI); Vancleave (4-5, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI); Peery (3-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI); Walker (1-4, 2B, R, RBI); Ferguson (1-5, RBI); Harris (1-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI). Aberdeen – Scott (2-4, R, RBI); A. Yakovich (2-3); Camp (2-4, 2 RBI); Gore (2-3, R); Patrick (1-3, R, HR, 3 RBI); Vessey (1-3).
Aberdeen 17, Port Angeles 7
In its first elimination game of the tournament, the 10th-seeded Bobcats erupted for 21 hits in a 17-7 six-inning rout over No. 6 Port Angeles.
Aberdeen scored four in the top of the first thanks to three errors, an RBI double by Shyanna Patrick and a run-scoring single by Maddie Gore.
Leading 4-2 in the top of the third, the Cats scored nine runs on nine hits and a walk, highlighted by a grand slam home run off the bat of pitcher Lilly Camp.
The Cats added four more runs in the sixth on an Abby Mainio leadoff home run, an RBI single by Patrick, a Zoe Vessey bunt-single and a bases-loaded walk to Scotlyn Lecomte to go up 17-5.
After the Roughriders (20-7) scored a pair of runs on a Kennedy Rognlien double, Camp got Alexandria Money to pop out to Vessey at short, ending the game and sending Aberdeen to the state’s third/fourth-place game.
Ten different Bobcats had a base hit in the game, led by Gore (3-3, R, 3 RBI), Patrick (3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI), Laynie Yakovich (3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI), Vessey (3-5, RBI) and Brittne Neal (3-4, 2 R) with three hits each.
Camp earned the victory, surrendering seven runs – four earned – on nine hits, three walks with nine strikeouts in six innings pitched.
Aberdeen 409 004 – 17 21 1
Port Angeles 112 012 – 7 9 3
WP: Camp (6 IP, 7 R, 4 ER, 9 H, 3 BB, 9 K). LP: Zimmer (2.1 IP, 8 R, 4 ER, 9 H, BB, K).
Leading hitters: Port Angeles – Smith (2-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI); Worthington (2-3, 2 R, RBI); Rognlien (2-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI); Hallberg (1-3); Reid (1-2, R, RBI). Aberdeen – Gore (3-3, R, 3 RBI); Patrick (3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI); L. Yakovich (3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI); Vessey (3-5, RBI); Neal (3-4, 2 R); Camp (2-5, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI); Mainio (1-2, HR, 2 R, RBI); Lecomte (1-2, 2 R, 2 RBI); Scott (1-4, R); Braaten (1-1, R).
Othello 8, Aberdeen 2
Aberdeen fell behind 5-0 after three innings before suffering an 8-2 loss to No. 5 Othello to place fourth overall in the state.
The Bobcats got behind early after No. 5 Othello (23-6) scored a run in the top of the first with an RBI single by Camryn McDonald.
The Huskies added four in the third on a sac fly and RBI singles by Emi Pruneda and Kaelee Valdez to take a 5-0 lead.
Othello took an 7-0 lead with a run in each of the fourth and sixth innings.
Aberdeen’s offense tagged Huskies reliever Persayis Garza for a pair of runs on a Scott RBI single followed by Gore scoring on a passed ball in the bottom of the sixth.
Othello’s Amarie Guzman drove in the final run of the game with a solo home run in the seventh.
Abby Mainio took the loss, allowing five runs – three earned – on six hits with two walks and a strikeout in three innings pitched.
Othello 104 101 1 – 8 10 2
Aberdeen 000 002 0 – 2 6 3
WP: Franco (4 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 2 BB, K). LP: Mainio (3 IP, 5 R, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, K).
Leading hitters: Othello – McDonald (4-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI); A. Guzman (1-2, HR, R, RBI); N. Guzman (1-4, HR, 2 R, RBI); Franco (1-3, 2B, R); Garza (1-4, RBI); Valdez (1-3, RBI); Pruneda (1-4, RBI). Aberdeen – Scott (1-4, RBI); A. Yakovich (1-3); Patrick (1-3, R); Gore (1-2, R); Vessey (1-3); Lecomte (1-2).
Aberdeen brings home first state trophy in 11 years
After defeating the No. 2, No. 6 and No. 7 seeds and earning its first state trophy since 2012, the Bobcats reflected on their state-tournament run and a memorable season.
“I’ve had a lot of talks about their legacies, and for the seniors, they are leaving behind success,” Bobcats head coach Jimmy McDaniel said, noting Aberdeen won a league title, qualified for the state tournament and placed fourth overall. “They did it all in one season.”
In the five games at the tournament, Aberdeen scored 45 runs, an average of nine runs per game, which was the third highest runs-per-game average of the tournament (Port Angeles 12.2, Ridgefield 11.5).
McDaniel said his team’s ability to play loose and free helped facilitate the offensive onslaught.
They competed at the highest stage for high school sports in Washington and you would think they’ve been there before. Their composure, attitude, effort and energy, it just showed.
“We talked about districts and how we scored three runs in 14 innings and how that’s not going to progress us. I think that really stuck with them and through the experience I’m guessing they understood how important that was,” McDaniel said. “Having gone through the pressure of districts and seeing that they can get through anything and can compete with anybody, that eased their minds a bit and they just continued to hit well.”
“Going into that last district game, we gathered everyone up and said, ‘This could be our last game and all we want is for everyone to have fun. We don’t care about the results, we just want everyone to have fun,’ said Scott, one of two seniors along with Maddie Gore that led the Bobcats. “I really hope they take that with them for the next few years and I’m just really proud of all of them.”
While Aberdeen hit up and down the lineup – including first career home runs by Britten Neal, Abby Mainio and Shyanna Patrick – the pitching duties belonged to sophomore all-state candidate Lilly Camp, who pitched a whopping 29 of the Bobcats’ 32 innings played over the two-day tournament.
“The cleat on my right foot is all torn up and has holes in it, I have big blisters on my fingers and I’m really sore all around,” Camp said. “But I was able to do it.”
“The goal for us this season was to go to state. We pushed our way through league and were league champs, we pushed our way through districts and made it to state, which was an amazing moment for us,” Camp said. “At state, we all just wanted to be there because that was our goal this whole season. We faced some pretty good teams and our bats just kept going the whole tournament.”
Scott – a four-year starter that was one of the key players the program was rebuilt around – competing at state and finding success was a dream come true.
“I’m just really happy it ended like this and I got to have fun and I got to make a good memory of my last sport in high school,” she said. “I’m just really proud of all of the girls. The home runs were crazy, that was the most home runs I’ve seen in my entire fastpitch life. I’m just really proud of them for battling through every game and always trying.”
McDaniel said as a No. 10 seed reaching the semifinals, Aberdeen surprised some of those at the tournament.
“We walked by quite a few fans from other schools and quite a few coaches, and you aren’t eavesdropping, but you can hear them, ‘Where the heck did Aberdeen come from?’ he said. “We put our name on the map over there.”
The Aberdeen head coach also took time to thank all those that supported the team in what was a memorable 2023 campaign.
“I really want to thank everybody that supported us, the players, their families, Coach Brandon Siano and Coach Kyle Scott. Those players and those two coaches’ dedication to the season is what made it a huge success,” he said. “I’m very happy and grateful to have experienced everything with the players and coaches this season.”