State softball.

4A state softball roundup: Jackson, GP reach semifinals

Both teams survive quarterfinal nail-biters to keep state-title hopes alive; Kamiak remains alive in consolation bracket.

RICHLAND — With Day 1 of the Class 4A state high school softball tournament in the rearview mirror, two Wesco teams remain active in their respective quests for a state championship entering Saturday’s semifinal rounds.

During the 4A District 1/2 Tournament in Everett last weekend, Kamiak, Glacier Peak and Jackson all clinched state trips to the Columbia Playfields in Richland.

Here’s a look at how each squad faired in the opening rounds:

No. 1 Jackson

Entering in as the top seed, the Timberwolves (24-1), took care of business on Day 1 to secure position heading into Saturday.

After 5-0 clean-up win over 16-seeded Kamiakin in the opening round that saw junior ace Yanina Sherwood fan 14 batters with no walks, Jackson drew Rogers (Puyallup) in the quarterfinals. The Rams (20-7), were fresh off a convincing 9-3 victory over Kamiak, and gave the Wolves a run for their money.

Jackson spurted out in the top of the first, coming up with a two-run inning that would prove to be crucial. Junior shortstop Rachel Sysum led off with a single. After a strikeout and fly out, Sysum stole second to get into scoring position. Junior Hailey Pelletier singled, scoring Sysum.

An RBI-double from junior Leneyah Mitchell brought home Pelletier as Jackson held an early 2-0 lead.

As Rogers laid down a flurry of five singles in the second, the Rams carved out a 3-2 lead. After a team discussion in the circle, the T-Wolves picked up the pieces, allowing just one hit the rest of the way as Sysum came up clutch in the seventh.

“We talked about how we know we can do it, and we all have the confidence to flush that out,” Sysum said of the second-inning meeting. “It didn’t matter at that point. .. It was like a brand new ball game, and we just needed to play like it.”

Sysum went on to smash a two-run shot over the centerfield fence, good for her 15th homer of the year, giving Jackson a 5-3 edge as it went into the bottom of the seventh. The Timberwolves would snuff out the next three batters, claiming a spot in the semifinals.

“Every team down here just plays with heart,” Jackson coach Kyle Peacocke said. “Rogers is a scrappy team, they kept putting the ball in play. But, our kids just continued to believe, gutted it out and came back. And, obviously, a huge homer from Rachel in the seventh.”

After coming up short of a state title in 2022, the Wolves have their eyes set on adding to their trophy case, which includes championships in 2018 and 2019, as they take on hometown Richland (24-2) on Saturday at 11 a.m in the semifinals.

“We know what it feels like to lose,” Sysum said. “So, we know that it’s going to take everybody and we have to continue to push one game at a time.”

No. 6 Glacier Peak

The Grizzlies’ trek through the postseason has been far from ideal, and it stayed that way on Friday, as Glacier Peak (22-4) slipped past 11-seeded Battle Ground 4-3 in the early morning tilt, following that up with a 3-1 win over No. 3 Skyview.

In the opening round, G-P found themselves in control against Battle Ground in the early stages as junior Maya Mesa belted in a two-run homer to take a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second.

As the fifth inning ensued, a scramble at home plate ended up costing the Grizzlies three runs as they committed two errors in the frame. With the score tied at three, Mesa left first base and was summoned into the circle to relieve Glacier Peak’s do-it-all senior, Faith Jordan.

The Mesa-Jordan pitching combination has been one of the staples of success for Glacier Peak, and the move was enough to slow down Battle Ground.

“We had to rally and dig deep, and these girls know how to do that,” Grizzlies coach Stefanie Celix said. “We had full confidence going in that we were gonna to turn it around. On the mound, we’re strong, it doesn’t matter if Maya is up there or Faith, we’ve got it going on. … I have complete confidence in both.”

Mesa went on to strike out six in 2 1/3 innings, shutting down the Tigers lineup in crunch time as Jordan delivered on the offensive side.

Jordan, who came into the fifth 0-for-2 at the plate, funneled a hit to right field and hustled down the lines for an RBI-triple with two outs, scoring sophomore Samantha Christensen, who led off the inning with a walk.

Mesa stepped up in the seventh, striking out the side to place G-P in the quarterfinals.

“The win feels amazing, it was really exciting. … It’s pure enjoyment,” Mesa said. “(Faith) always comes through with her hitting. Even if she’s not feeling it with her pitching, she always comes through for us.”

In their evening game against Skyview, the Grizzlies kept it rolling after climbing out of a 1-0 hole in the seventh, avoiding extra innings. As the bases were loaded, G-P’s go-ahead score came as Briannica Titus, a sophomore, was hit by a pitch, plating Christensen. After a sacrifice fly made it 3-1, Glacier Peak closed up shop, avoiding a possible third game on Day 1.

No. 9 Kamiak

Much like their showing at districts, the Knights dropped their opening round game as Rogers pulled away with a 9-3 victory, putting them in a situation where they’d need to pull out back-to-back wins to see Day 2.

Kamiak cleaned things up, and took out Kamiakin 11-0, then ousted No. 3 Skyline 6-1, lining up a loser-out contest against No. 2 Bothell on Saturday, which fell to Kentwood (No. 10) in the semifinals.

“They know that they’ve had to do this before,” Kamiak coach Ann Bradley said following the loss to Rogers. “Now it’s just keep playing because you wanna play. No senior wants to be done, that’s kinda the conversation we had with them. Play to play, play to have fun, you have nothing to lose at this point, so leave it out on the field.”

The Knights (21-6) found a way to keep their season alive as they blew past Kamiakin in what was a pick-me-up win for the group. Headlined by a two-run homer from senior Samantha Rowher, Kamiak got back to its usual offensive prowess.

“It was super exciting to see our bats come alive,” Rowher said. “I did think we were a little asleep in our first game, so it was nice to see. I just hope we can keep it going and keep our energy up.”

As Kamiak digs deeper into the consolation bracket on Saturday, a third-place finish would mean three more victories in loser-out fashion.

“It’s kinda scary,” Rowher said. “But, there’s also a little bit of an adrenaline rush. We can always look out to what’s next and what’s next again, it’s just fun to keep on going. All my four years at Kamiak, we haven’t made to state, so it’s just nice to be here and we want to make a mark.”


Glacier Peak (No. 6) vs. Kentwood (No. 10), 11 a.m., winner to final, loser to consolation bracket.

Jackson (No. 1) vs. Richland (No. 4), 11 a.m., winner to finals, loser to consolation bracket.

Kamiak (No. 9) vs. Bothell (No. 2), 11 a.m., winner advances in consolation, loser out.

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