LACEY — Two of the top pitchers in Class 3A squared of in a quarterfinal battle at Regional Athletic Complex on Friday and certainly didn’t disappoint.
Meadowdale junior Kate Houghton matched Bonney Lake’s University of Washington-bound senior Brooke Nelson pitch for pitch, but one hiccup in the fourth inning proved enough for Bonney Lake to pull off a 1-0 victory.
“She’s great,” Mavericks coach Dennis Hopkins said of Nelson. “It was a pitching duel all the way through. Our pitcher did the same thing — kept them in check. (Nelson’s) their biggest bat and she didn’t get anything (offensively). So this came down to who hiccuped first, and we just happened to hiccup at the wrong time.”
Nelson and Houghton both came out strong. The Bonney Lake senior struck out seven batters through the first three innings, and Meadowdale’s ace retired the first eight batters she faced and fanned five over the first three frames.
The bottom of the fourth is when things started to unravel a bit for Meadowdale.
Brynn Nelson delivered a one-out single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Houghton got the next batter on a soft pop-up to second, but a two-out walk set the table for Hailee Hagins to deliver a run-scoring double to deep left-center field.
Bonney Lake nearly added on three more, but a deep fly ball off the bat of Grace Brown that would have cleared the fence in left-center field was snagged by senior Jaislyn Hart.
Meadowdale threatened to get its run back in the top half of the fifth when Zoey Morris legged out a two-out infield single and Emma Meyer moved her to second with another single. That’s when Brooke Nelson, the Washington state career prep strikeout leader, did what she does best and fanned the next batter to escape the jam.
Houghton allowed only one more baserunner over the next two innings to give her team a chance to tie it up or take the lead in the seventh.
The Mavericks showed signs of life when pinch-hitter Jenaly Gabriel reached first after Bonney Lake’s center fielder dropped a hard-hit line drive. Morris followed by battling with two strikes, fouling off five pitches and working the count to 1-2, before grounding into a fielder’s choice. Brooke Nelson shut the door, though, with her 17th strikeout of the game.
Nelson finished with a five-hit shutout and allowed only one walk.
Houghton went the distance, fanned 10 batters and gave up three hits and two walks.
“Same as she’s been doing all year, just pitching her game,” Hopkins said. “It worked. They got a couple (of hits) of her, we got a couple off of (their pitcher), just not enough at the right time. This was a championship game all the way through.”
Meadowdale reached the quarterfinals with a 4-1 win over Holy Names Academy earlier in the day.
Houghton picked up the win — striking out 10 in a complete game. Olivia Dimmock blasted an opposite-field two-run home run, Allie Monarrez delivered an RBI and a pair of doubles, and Kelci Studioso drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Later Friday, the Mavericks beat Bellevue 8-0 in an elimination game.
Snohomish’s comeback bid falls short in quarterfinals
The Panthers’ quest for a third state semifinal appearance in the past four seasons fell short in a 4-3 loss to Mountain View.
The Mighty Thunder jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning after their first three batters of the game got on base.
Snohomish cut the lead to 3-1 after a run-scoring double by Jordan Crawford in the second.
Mountain View stretched the lead back to three in the bottom half of the inning on Marlee Martin’s solo home run.
The Panthers cut the lead to one with two runs in the fifth. Taylor Khorrami scored after a Mighty Thunder error and Delaney Kaysner later came around on Sydney Sandifer’s RBI single, but that’s all Snohomish would get.
The Panthers advanced to the quarterfinals with a 10-0 win over Bellevue.
Snohomish blanked a Wolverines offense that averaged 13.3 runs per game, led by four batters that hit .500 or better.
Later Friday, the Panthers beat Hermiston (Oregon) 4-2 to stay alive in a bid for third place.
Everett stays alive in consolation bracket with walkoff win
The Seagulls battled back from a three-run first inning deficit and knocked out Southridge, 5-4, in an extra-innings loser-out consolation game.
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Everett put runners on first and second to lead off the inning. Kassidy Millar moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt, and Andrea Hedington tied the game at 3-all with an RBI groundout to first base. The Seagulls had a chance to get the game-winner with two outs but couldn’t get the runner from third across.
Southridge took a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth on a solo home run by Emmee Ball, but Everett answered right back when Brooke-lynn Wilmes mashed a solo home run to tie it up.
The Seagulls put runners on first and second with back-to-back bunts and then pushed the runners up to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Southridge chose to intentionally walk Annie Fowler to load the bases and set up a potential inning-ending double play, but Jackie Rookaird made the Suns pay with a hard-hit ball past the shortstop for walkoff single.
Everett dropped its first-round game, 3-2, to Lake Washington.
Later Friday, the Seagulls were eliminated in a 4-3 loss to Stadium.
Edmonds-Woodway eliminated after two games
The Warriors’ Cinderella run to the state tournament came to a quick end with a pair of losses.
Edmonds-Woodway couldn’t muster anything offensively against Stadium in its first-round matchup, falling 7-0.
The Warriors’ offense continued to sputter in their loser-out consolation matchup with Prairie. The Falcons jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the second and never looked back on their way to a 9-2 victory.