MONROE — On Tuesday, Jackson head coach Kyle Peacocke said junior pitcher Sophie Frost pitched her best game of the season in a district semifinal victory over Lake Stevens.
Thursday she outdid herself.
“She topped it today,” Jackson head coach Kyle Peacocke said after the Timberwolves’ 2-0 victory over Snohomish in the 4A District 1 Championship game on Thursday. “She saved her best two performances of the year for Lake Stevens and then today. To shut that offense out is really impressive. They can hit the ball and score a lot of runs.”
Frost pitched a one-hitter, completely dominating Snohomish’s high-powered offense from the first inning where she struck out the side. In three district tournament games, Frost gave up just four hits.
“Having my defense behind me…those people, that’s what gives me confidence,” Frost said. “It’s not anybody else but my defense. It’s not the fans, it’s my defense behind me. They work so hard day in and day out and I know they’re going to have my back every single time.”
As good as Frost was, Snohomish starting pitcher Bailey Greenlee matched her for the first five innings. Greenlee didn’t give up her first hit until there was one out in the top of the fifth inning and in five innings of work she allowed no runs and two hits.
“In about the third or the fourth inning I started talking to our coaches and I thought at that time, the way the pitchers were throwing, that one run was probably going to be the difference in the game,” Peacocke said.
Peacocke was right, one run was all the Timberwolves needed, but they got two in the top of the seventh inning. With a runner on first and one out, sophomore Taylor Adams hit a grounder up the middle. The runners would have been safe, but the damage was compounded when the Snohomish shortstop and second baseman collided and the ball rolled into the outfield. That allowed the lead runner to advance to third and Adams alertly took second when the defense wasn’t looking.
“The way this game was going it was going to turn on something weird,” Snohomish head coach Lou Kennedy said. “A little slow roller up the middle and everything changed.”
For a moment it looked as though Snohomish might escape the trouble. Junior Tiana Lopez tried a squeeze bunt, but Alyssa Avalos, who pinch ran for Shayla Hendrickson was thrown out in a bang-bang play at home plate.
The Timberwolves weren’t discouraged. The next hitter, junior Kaylei Werner singled up the middle to score Adams and Lopez.
“I just came up with confidence knowing that my team needed a hit,” Werner said. “I was just looking for a base hit and trying to do my job.”
It was more than enough run support for Frost, who struck out eight.
The last three times the Timberwolves and Panthers have played Snohomish has won each game by one run. Jackson couldn’t have picked a better time to put an end to that streak.
“Like our coach has always said, ‘it’s not how many times you beat a team, it’s when you beat a team,’” Werner said. “It was pretty nice to get that win.”
Jackson advances to the state tournament, but the Panthers still have work to do. They face Lake Stevens at 4 p.m. on Friday for the second and final berth from the district to the state tournament.
Despite a disappointing loss, Kennedy said his team would be ready to play.
“Girls are so resilient about stuff like this,” he said after the game. “About an hour from now they’ll be good to go. It’s kind of fun. It’s one of the reasons I kind of like riding the bus back (to school). We’ll go get on the bus and in about the middle of that driveway the chatter will start and they’ll be good to go again.”
At Sky River Park
Jackson 000 000 2 — 2 4 1
Snohomish 000 000 0 — 0 1 1
Sophie Frost and Kayla Ellis. Bailey Greenlee, Alyssa Simons (6) and Morgan Greenlee. WP–Frost. LP–Simons. Records–Jackson 19-5. Snohomish 18-3.