Glacier Peak’s Ashley Schmer (right) makes a catch over the head of teammate Phoebe Schultz to help the Grizzlies escape a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning of Tuesday’s Wesco 4A showdown against Lake Stevens. Glacier Peak won 6-3 to claim sole possession of first place in the conference standings. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Glacier Peak’s Ashley Schmer (right) makes a catch over the head of teammate Phoebe Schultz to help the Grizzlies escape a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning of Tuesday’s Wesco 4A showdown against Lake Stevens. Glacier Peak won 6-3 to claim sole possession of first place in the conference standings. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

GP softball grabs sole possession of 1st place in Wesco 4A

The Grizzlies rallied to beat conference rival Lake Stevens 6-3 in a battle for first place.

LAKE STEVENS — The Glacier Peak softball team’s bats took a while to warm up.

But once they did, the floodgates burst open.

And now, after spending the past two seasons in the shadow of Wesco 4A powers such as Lake Stevens, the Grizzlies are all alone atop the conference standings.

Kendall Curtis hit a pair of two-run doubles as Glacier Peak checked off another milestone in its breakthrough start to the season, rallying for a 6-3 road win over Lake Stevens in Tuesday afternoon’s battle for first place in Wesco 4A.

It was the Grizzlies’ first victory over the Vikings in seven tries since moving up to Wesco 4A in 2017.

“This was an amazing win for our girls,” Glacier Peak coach Stefanie Celix said. “We’ve been working and working for this for several years, and now we’ve accomplished one of the things we haven’t been able to do before.”

Over the previous two seasons, the Grizzlies went a combined 20-0 against the bottom four teams in Wesco 4A, but just 1-15 against the top tier of Jackson, Lake Stevens and Monroe.

Glacier Peak (9-2 overall, 5-0 Wesco 4A) has flipped the script in a major way this spring, beating all three of the league’s recent powers during its unbeaten start in conference play.

The Grizzlies’ breakthrough began two weeks ago, when Ashley Jacobson hit a walk-off home run to give Glacier Peak a 2-1 win over defending Class 4A state champion Jackson.

It continued last week, when the heavy-hitting Grizzlies rolled to a 23-1 victory over reigning 4A state runner-up Monroe.

Glacier Peak then accomplished its latest milestone in Tuesday’s showdown of Wesco 4A unbeatens, rallying past a Lake Stevens program that’s earned at least a share of the past two conference titles.

The victory gave the Grizzlies sole possession of first place atop the Wesco 4A standings near the midway point of league play.

“To accomplish these goals is important for my girls, because they see that they’re growing,” Celix said. “All these girls have been battling since we came into 4A … and they get to see the rewards of their hard work that they put in every single day.”

Through the first five innings of Tuesday’s wind-chilled contest, Glacier Peak managed only one hit off Lake Stevens pitcher Kaylie Hoskins. The senior lefty was cruising, having struck out 10 batters and allowed just two base-runners.

But the Grizzlies finally broke through, erasing a 2-0 deficit by exploding for four runs in the top of the sixth.

“The girls didn’t give up on themselves,” Celix said. “They started to read the pitches, and they made the contact that they know they can make.”

Ashley Schmer began Glacier Peak’s sixth-inning rally with an infield hit, and Meleah Menchaca lofted a fly ball to shallow center field that fell in for a single. Harlee Carpenter followed with a run-scoring base hit to right field, trimming Lake Stevens’ lead to 2-1.

Curtis, the ensuing batter, then scorched a two-run double into the left-center field gap to give the Grizzlies a 3-2 advantage. Two batters later, Haley Winckler drove in Curtis with a groundball single up the middle to make it 4-2.

“I think it honestly just clicked,” Curtis said of her team’s four-run sixth inning. “We started to have confidence in ourselves. We were getting down the first couple innings, but once we started to adjust, we knew that we could do it.”

Harlee Carpenter drives in a run during Glacier Peak’s pivotal four-run sixth inning. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Harlee Carpenter drives in a run during Glacier Peak’s pivotal four-run sixth inning. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Curtis connected for another two-run double in the seventh, launching a hard-hit ball off the right-center field fence to give Glacier Peak a 6-2 cushion. The University of Montana-bound senior finished 3-for-4 and drove in four runs.

“Those were hard, solid hits in the gaps — full contact,” Celix said. “And she did it at critical points. You couldn’t ask for a better hitter right there.”

Sophomore pitcher Makayla Miller picked up the win for Glacier Peak after shaking off a two-run first inning and allowing only one run the rest of the way. With help from her defense, she escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth to keep the Grizzlies within two runs.

“Makayla pitched her game from start to finish,” Celix said. “Makayla stayed strong in who she is as a pitcher and had confidence in herself. … She just pushed through, and she knew that her defense was behind her.”

Hoskins pitched a complete game for Lake Stevens (9-2, 5-1), finishing with 13 strikeouts. Emma Fortney, Kylie Hubby and Cory Bardue each had two hits for the Vikings.

“The sixth inning was very tough,” said Lake Stevens coach Sarah Hirsch, whose team was coming off a 4-1 win over Jackson on Monday. “You take away the infield base hit and the misplayed pop fly, and (Glacier Peak might not) score any of those runs. … But they came out and hit the ball well today.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver David Moore (83) celebrates with DK Metcalf, left, and Tyler Lockett (16), after Moore scored a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
For Seahawks fans, there’s a major reason to be thankful

Seattle is tied atop the NFC West, but its favorable schedule ahead is the big reason to be excited.

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell celebrates after striking out the side during the fourth inning in Game 6 of the baseball World Series Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Could the Mariners be interested in trading for Blake Snell?

Reports suggest the Rays would be willing to listen to offers for the Shorewood High School alum.

AquaSox’s Travis Kuhn and Emerald’s Ryan Jensen an hour after the game between the two teams on Sunday continue standing in salute to the National Anthem at Funko Field on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019 in Everett, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Reports suggest AquaSox may become full-season High-A team

The club would field players further along in their development who are more likely to one day play for the Mariners.

FILE - In this June 29, 1986 file photo, Diego Maradona holds up his team's trophy after Argentina's 3-2 victory over West Germany at the World Cup final soccer match at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. The Argentine soccer great who was among the best players ever and who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity, died from a heart attack on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, at his home in Buenos Aires. He was 60. (AP Photo/Carlo Fumagalli, File)
Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona dies at age 60

The international legend scored the ‘Hand of God’ goal and led his country to a World Cup title in 1986.

Sporting opposing team gear, Lauren Rice and Avery Kirkman, right, enjoy chatting together as Dutch Hill Elementary in Snohomish held an Apple Cup-themed Dads and Donuts event in advance of the 2018 matchup between Washington and Washington State. This year’s Apple Cup, scheduled for Friday, was canceled because of a coronavirus outbreak among WSU players, but it’s possible the annual rivalry contest could be rescheduled. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
POLL: Will the Apple Cup happen this year?

Friday’s football game between UW and WSU was called off, but there’s still hope of rescheduling.

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree (48) pushes past Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Cam Robinson (74), left, to sack quarterback Jake Luton (6) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
How local NFL products fared in Week 11

Marysville Pilchuck alum Jake Luton struggles against the league’s last undefeated team.

Seattle Sounders' Nicolas Lodeiro (10) is congratulated on his goal by Jordan Morris (13), who had an assist, during the first half of an MLS playoff soccer match against Los Angeles FC on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Defending champs moving on as Sounders oust LAFC

Seattle opens the playoff with a 3-1 win and advances to face FC Dallas in the Western semifinals.

Marysville-Getchell's Malakhi Knight leads a fast break against Wilson Wednesday morning at the Tacoma Dome on March 4, 2020. Marysville-Gethchell lost to Wilson 73-52. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

Washington's Josiah Bronson motions after the team recovered an Arizona fumble during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
UW to face Utah on Saturday after Apple Cup cancellation

The Huskies were able to find a Pac-12 opponent able to play in Seattle this weekend.

Most Read