SEDRO WOOLLEY — Caitlyn Munce hit a walk-off two-run double in the bottom of the ninth to give Granite Falls a come-from-behind win over Mount Baker and secure the Tigers’ first district championship in fastpitch softball.
“I’m so proud,” said Granite Falls softball coach Candi Reeves. “This group is talented and hardworking … it’s a huge accomplishment for the kids and a great thing for Granite Falls.”
Munce’s heroics came after Mount Baker snapped a 4-4 tie in the top of the ninth. With the international tie-breaker rule in effect, the Borderites plated the runner, who began the inning on second, with a two-out RBI single. After the Tigers retired the side, Reeves had simple instructions for her team: “Win the darn game.”
Granite Falls started the inning with Hailey Teter on second. Mikayla Engstrom and Logan Thomas followed with consecutive bunt base hits to load the bases. Then Munce ended the game by drilling a ball to the gap in left center to score Teter and Engstrom and give the Tigers a much coveted district title.
“We didn’t want second (at districts) again,” said Reeves. “Our goal was to win the conference, then districts and now it’s on to state.”
Munce finished with three hits and four RBI. Thomas, the Tigers’ leadoff hitter, went 4-for-5 and scored the first three Granite Falls’ runs to help the Tigers claw their way back into the game after Mount Baker put up four runs in the third.
After the Cascade Conference champions took a first inning lead on a Hailey Brennan RBI single, Mount Baker used four singles and a Granite Falls error to take the lead. In the midst of the Borderites onslaught, Reeves walked on to the diamond and said, “It’s okay, we’re going to comeback.”
The Tigers made her words come true, with Munce hitting an RBI single in the fifth and Jessica Mueller tying the game with a two-out, base-hit in the sixth to score Teter.
Now the Tigers advance to state where there’s one more goal they’d like to reach.
“Hopefully we can come home with a trophy,” said Reeves. “It’s a long road and hard to do, but the kids are making the climb and the execution today … was impressive.”
At Janicki Field
Aleks Toivala and Henry Morgan. Kimmy Martinez and Peyton Spencer. WP—Martinez (16-0). LP—Toivala. 2B—Caitlyn Munce (GF). Records—Mount Baker 14-8 overall. Granite Falls 20-1.
Lynden 7, Lakewood 5
Lynden’s Mandy Warner hit a three-run triple in the fourth inning to help the Lions oust Lakewood from the 2A District playoffs. Senior Arianna Barrio capped her softball career going 4-for-4 with a run scored and Kiana Smith added a solo homer for the Cougars.
At Janicki Field
Hailey Malakowski and Mikayla Holmes. Bonsen and Warner. WP—Bonsen. LP—Malakowski. 2B—Matter (L). 3B—Warner, Bonsen. HR—Kiana Smith (L). Records—Lakewood 14-8 overall. Lynden 20-3.