EVERETT — For the first time in its program’s decade-long history, the Marysville Getchell High School softball team is headed to state.
Teagan Carroll homered twice, Morgan Epperson tossed a four-hitter and the seventh-seeded Chargers earned their first-ever state berth with an 8-1 victory over fifth-seeded Everett in a Class 3A District 1 Tournament consolation-bracket game Thursday afternoon at Phil Johnson Ballfields.
“It’s just so exciting,” Epperson said of the program milestone. “The whole team put in the work. … It’s just an exciting moment for us.”
The Chargers (14-10) became the school’s third team sport to advance to state. Girls soccer reached state in 2017 and 2019, while boys basketball did so in the 2019-20 season.
After the final out, Marysville Getchell’s players converged for a frenzied celebration in the pitcher’s circle, while their fans cheered them on from the bleachers.
“We had a lot of people here today,” Chargers coach Mike Moran said. “We had administrators, teachers, student body. That (was) cool. … It’s good for the school.”
Epperson, a senior right-hander, allowed only one run in a strong complete-game performance. She struck out six batters and walked only one. And behind her, Marysville Getchell played error-free defense.
“She was so tough all tournament,” Moran said. “… You’ve gotta give so much credit to Morgan. She knew she had to limit some walks. She did. And threw strikes. Her changeup was on today pretty good, and she was on the zone.”
Carroll set the tone from the game’s first at-bat, leading off with a solo homer to put the Chargers on the board. Lilyana Balgos, a freshman, followed with a single and came around to score on an error. Katelyn Maneval, a sophomore, added a run-scoring single later in the frame to give Marysville Getchell an early 3-0 lead.
Balgos drove in a run in the second inning, hitting a run-scoring triple over the right fielder’s head to gave the Chargers a 4-1 lead. She finished 3-for-3.
Carroll added her second homer of the game in the fourth, lining a two-run shot over the left-field fence to make it 6-1. It continued a strong month at the plate for the junior slugger.
“It must look like a basketball coming at her, because she’s hitting everything,” Moran said. “She’s a tough out — a very tough out.”
Marysville Getchell faced a tough non-league schedule and started the season 3-8. But the Chargers have since won 11 of their past 13 games, including district tournament wins over 10th-seeded Meadowdale, third-seeded Shorewood and Everett.
“Our girls really came together,” Moran said.
This is Marysville Getchell’s second winning season in program history. The other came in 2019, when the Chargers fell one win short of state with a 3-1 district tournament loss to Everett.
This time, they reversed the script and beat the Seagulls (16-7) to advance to the 3A state tournament on May 27-28 in Lacey.
Everett, meanwhile, dropped to a loser-out game later in the evening and suffered a season-ending 15-0 three-inning loss to fourth-seeded Monroe.
“Districts are hard,” Moran said. “… It is hard to get out of districts.”
ARLINGTON EARNS 1ST STATE BERTH SINCE 2013
Lexi Eck homered twice and sixth-seeded Arlington advanced to state with a 7-4 win over fourth-seeded Monroe in a 3A District 1 Tournament consolation-bracket game.
It’s the Eagles’ first state berth since they won the 2013 4A state title.
“These girls have worked so incredibly hard and they are more than deserving,” Arlington coach Hayden Fields said. “It just means the world to take this group that has overcome the adversity of not having a season (in 2020) and then a shortened season (in 2021). … They are just all incredible, incredible girls.”
The Eagles (17-6) have won 10 of their past 11 games, including a 10-3 victory over third-seeded Shorewood in Tuesday’s district quarterfinals.
Arlington suffered a heartbreaking semifinal loss later Tuesday evening, when it blew a 12-2 sixth-inning lead and fell 14-12 to eventual district champion Cascade on a walkoff grand slam.
But the Eagles bounced back Thursday, beating another higher seed to punch their ticket to state.
“These girls have put the work in,” Fields said. “And not coming in as a top seed I don’t think truly captured their potential and their talent, and they showed it. They showed how talented they are by coming out and beating some really good teams. So I’m really excited for them.”
Eck, a senior, blasted a two-run homer over the left-field fence in the top of the third to put Arlington on the board. Juniors Maddy Fischer and Naomi Peterson then added back-to-back doubles to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead.
Eck went deep again in the fifth, belting a solo homer to left field to make it 4-0.
“She’s been seeing the ball super well the whole entire tournament,” Fields said. “… She’s an incredible hitter.”
In the top of the seventh, junior Emmaly Morris hit a run-scoring double and Fischer added a two-run homer to stretch Arlington’s lead to 7-1.
Monroe (16-6) trimmed the margin with three runs in the bottom of the frame, but the Eagles got the final outs to secure their first trip to state in nine years.
Senior pitcher Lizzie Durfee tossed a complete game for Arlington, allowing two earned runs and two unearned runs. She scattered eight hits, while striking out seven batters and walking four.
“She shut them down, especially their more seasoned players,” Fields said. “She kept them really off-balanced and used all of her pitches really well. She did an amazing job on the mound for us this week.”
MONROE BOUNCES BACK, ADVANCES TO STATE
After losing to Arlington earlier in the afternoon, fourth-seeded Monroe rebounded in emphatic fashion and needed just three innings to storm to a 15-0 mercy-rule rout of fifth-seeded Everett in a 3A District 1 Tournament winner-to-state, loser-out game.
It was the third matchup in 15 days between the two teams. The Bearcats routed Everett 19-2 on May 5, but fell 3-2 to the Seagulls in Tuesday’s district quarterfinals.
The rubber match was a completely one-sided affair.
Monroe totaled 14 hits, with at least one hit from every player in its lineup. The Bearcats (16-6) scored two runs in the first inning and then exploded for seven in the second and six in the third.
Senior Emma Nagy belted a three-run homer, Stanford University-bound senior River Mahler went 3-for-3 with a triple and junior Jessi Mahler hit a walkoff three-run triple.
Nagy pitched a perfect three innings, while striking out four of the nine batters she faced.
“I think it was because we ran out of innings with Arlington,” Monroe coach Ashley Tuiasosopo said of her team’s offensive outburst. “Our kids were starting to see the ball and make good contact (late against Arlington).
“And these kids, (state) is something that they want. We just told them, ‘If you want it, you’ve gotta go get it.’ I wasn’t expecting (15-0), but I’ll sure take it.”
After the Bearcats’ district quarterfinal loss to Everett (16-7) on Tuesday, they bounced back later that evening to rout ninth-seeded Marysville Pilchuck 13-2 in a loser-out game. Tuiasosopo said that experience benefited them Thursday in rebounding from their 7-4 loss to Arlington earlier in the afternoon.
“For our kids, it’s always, ‘What’s the next game?’ and then put your best effort forward,” Tuiasosopo said.
It marks Monroe’s third state berth in the past four full-length seasons, but its first since the Bearcats made a run to the 4A state title game in 2018. None of the current players were in high school that year.
“I’m happy for my seniors,” Tuiasosopo said. “And I’m happy that they could help lead, so all the underclassmen can kind of see what you’ve gotta do to get there.”