EVERETT — Two defending state champions have clinched berths to the 3A softball state tournament.
Snohomish and Meadowdale posted 3A District 1 tournament semifinal victories Thursday at Phil Johnson Fields. Bailey Greenlee pitched a perfect game to lead the Panthers to a 10-0 win over Everett, while the Mavericks beat Marysville Pilchuck 9-5.
Snohomish and Meadowdale will face off Friday in the district tournament championship game.
“We’ve got a young team, and it’s amazing to make it back to state,” said Mavericks coach Dennis Hopkins. “At the start of the season we were in wait-and-see mode, but about halfway through we figured it out. We have some veterans who have help lead the young ones along.”
“We don’t feel pressure. We’re comfortable with where we’re at now,” Greenlee said. “We just wanted the chance to get back to state, so we’re happy. Our team chemistry is good. If we can (string together) quality at-bats, we’re about as solid a team as there is. If we play our game, we can be unstoppable.”
Snohomish 10, Everett 0 (5)
Greenlee struck out nine of the 15 batters she faced. She worked fast, was constantly ahead in the count and didn’t allow a lot of hard contact.
“That was definitely the sharpest outing she’s had (this season),” said Snohomish coach Lou Kennedy. “When she gets in a groove like that, she’s unhittable.”
The Panthers’ offense was also dominant — they scored six runs in the first inning to take a commanding lead. Snohomish’s 12-hit attack was led by leadoff hitter Ruby Butler, who recorded three singles and scored three runs.
“It all starts at the top with Ruby. She sees a lot of pitches, and she’s the perfect leadoff hitter,” Kennedy said. “Sami Reynolds has speed in the (No. 2 spot), and then comes all of our power. That’s our strength — our lineup is so deep.”
The Seagulls will play Marysville Getchell on Friday in a loser-out game.
“All of the goals that we had at the start of the season are still in front of us,” said Everett coach Mike Millar. “We’re focusing on that now. We’ll be ready to go (Friday).”
Meadowdale 9, Marysville Pilchuck 5
The Tomahawks took a 5-3 lead after three innings, but the Mavericks scored six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, a rally keyed by several Marysville Pilchuck errors and a three-run home run by Emma Helm.
“The second time through the lineup, we started to figure some things out,” Hopkins said. “We began to adjust to the strike zone. (Being down early in games) doesn’t bother the younger players as much as it did earlier in the season.”
Meadowdale pitcher Lauren Dent struck out six batters in a complete-game effort and added three hits.
Lily Fischer and Lexi Phelps hit home runs for Marysville Pilchuck, which will play Edmonds-Woodway on Friday in a loser-out contest.
“We’re good for six innings, but for one inning we lose focus. We did that a lot at the start of the year,” said Tomahawks coach Aaron Zachry. “It usually happens when we’re leading. I don’t know if we get complacent, but we let our foot off the gas and fall apart.
“In the last 10 games we had been doing less of that, but it crept up on us today at a bad time. We’ve been playing well lately. I told the girls they can show their true colors (Friday).”