By David Krueger Herald Writer
LACEY – Rebecca Wright had one hit in Meadowdale’s state quarterfinal game against Enumclaw.
But it was a big one.
Wright, who was 0-for-4 going into the bottom of the tenth inning, hit a walk-off three-run home run with two outs to cap a five-run rally for the Mavericks, who came from behind to defeat Enumclaw 10-8 in 10 innings.
“It’s a dream right now,” Wright said with a huge smile across her face. “…I just didn’t want to get out. I was aiming for a base hit. I’m happy with a home run.”
The Hornets scored three runs in the top of the tenth, to take an 8-5 lead over Meadowdale going into the bottom half of the inning. Both teams started the inning with a runner on second base from the ninth inning on due to an international tiebreaker rule.
After an RBI groundout by Haili Taylor, an RBI single by Alyssa Reuble and a walk by Lovena Sheehan – who came in to pinch run in the ninth inning and stayed in the game – Wright came to the plate.
With two strikes she hit a ball over the left-field fence and hurried around the bases to her teammate waiting to congratulate her at home.
“I didn’t look. I didn’t feel it. I heard (the ball hit the bat) and I just ran,” Wright said. “I saw everyone screaming and yelling while I was booking it to second (base).”
Meadowdale head coach Dennis Hopkins, who was coaching at third base, had seen Wright hit some deep foul balls down the line over the course of the game. With the Mavericks down 8-7, he was hopeful that the sophomore could step up and be the latest hero in a season that has featured many for Meadowdale.
“I was thinking, ‘OK. Do we still have one more in the tank that we can pull out? Another miracle?’” Hopkins said. “It just keeps happening. … I heard it and I’m watching and I’m thinking, ‘It’s out! It’s out!’ It had too much on it.”
Samantha Gregoryk, who batted 2-for-3 for Meadowdale with two runs scored and a walk, also went deep with a three-run home run in the fifth inning, which gave the Mavericks their first lead of the game, 4-2.
Alyssa Reuble went the distance on the mound, pitching the entire 10 innings, plus seven from Meadowdale’s earlier game Friday. The Mavericks’ defeated Auburn Mountainview 6-0 in their opening game of the state tournament.
Meadowdale used a five-run third inning to pull away from the Lions early.
“We’re a team. They never give up on each other, no matter what the score is, where there at or what’s happening in the game,” Hopkins said. “They just play the game one pitch at a time. They’ve bought into that theory and it just never gets to them.”
Meadowdale kept its hopes of a state title alive with the win. The Mavericks will take on Kamiakin, the defending state champions, Saturday at 9 a.m. in a 3A state semifinal game. Meadowdale lost to Kamiakin (18-7 overall) 10-0 in the state quarterfinals last season.
The Mavericks are hoping to get a little revenge.
“They beat us up bad last year,” Hopkins said. “… Sometimes you have these teams that did something to you and you go, ‘Gosh, I’d like to play them again.’ They are that team. We are pumped and ready to go. We truly believe we can go all the way.
Hopkins and his coaching staff tried a little trick while prepping the Mavericks for the state tournament.
“I’ve told the girls I don’t write left-handed so I can’t write on the left side of the bracket. We have to stay (on the) right side the whole time,” Hopkins said. “That’s what we did at districts. So we came down here, we folded the bracket in half so it’s only the right side and said, ‘This is the only thing you guys get to play in.’ There’s nothing over here to play.”
At Regional Athletic Complex
Enumclaw 200 002 001 3 – 8 9 1
Meadowdale 000 130 001 5 – 10 11 5
Quinn Breidenbach and Becky Forza. Alyssa Reuble and Rebecca Wright. WP–Reuble. LP–Breidenbach. 2B–Breidenbach (E), Ashley Brooke (M). HR–Samantha Gregoryk (M), Wright (M). Records–Enumclaw 22-4 overall. Meadowdale 22-2.