MILL CREEK — Jackson High’s softball team got a little bit of everything as they celebrated senior night on Wednesday.
The Timberwolves took the lead, lost the lead and then rallied from a one-run deficit in the 10th inning to defeat Lynnwood 4-3 and clinch the Wesco 4A South league title in a thriller at Jackson High School.
After the Timberwolves scored two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning, Jackson’s players ran out to celebrate their league title. A few moments later, head coach Kyle Peacocke was still trying to find the right words to describe the comeback.
“I’m a little speechless. The heart’s ticking for sure,” Peacocke said. “Wow! What a game! Just a great game between two really good teams. We’ve got a lot of respect for Lynnwood. They fought like heck. But we got down and just decided we were going to do it. It was a great team win.”
Dasia Lester gave Lynnwood its first lead of the game in the top of the 10th with an RBI single that scored Celeste Angell, who led off the inning with a double. It was the 13th hit of the game for the Royals, who were held hitless their previous outing against the Timberwolves and pitcher Sophie Frost.
However, Jackson came right back in the bottom half of the inning. Kaylei Werner reached base on a throwing error and Sarah Casel followed with a bunt single that sent Werner to third.
A sacrifice fly by Tiana Lopez tied the score 3-3. Jackson then scored the game-winner when Taylor Adams hit a deep fly ball to right-center field that was dropped by the Lynnwood outfielder — the Royals third error of the inning. Casel scored on the miscue.
“A lot happened,” Peacocke said. “Both teams made a couple of mistakes. I think the biggest thing was both teams were putting the bat on the ball. The thing we talked about this year was if we make a mistake, don’t panic. The next pitch is the most important pitch, and that’s kind of the way we approached the game. We came through with some clutch hits and some great defensive plays.”
“You just have to keep your head in the game and just focus every pitch and just believe that that’s your opportunity to win the game,” said Casel, one of three Jackson seniors. “Anything can happen at every moment so you’ve just got to be ready.”
The victory clinched the league title for the Timberwolves (12-3 league, 17-3 overall), which had that near the top of their list of goals for the season.
“It feels really awesome. Amazing,” Casel said. “I think that we’re really proud of ourselves for accomplishing our goal. This was our goal from the very beginning of the season. We wanted to be Wesco South champs. To finish it in 10 innings, it feels really amazing.”
If Lynnwood had won, the Royals (10-5, 14-6) would have finished as co-league champions with the Timberwolves — who won the teams’ first meeting 3-0 on April 15.
“I think, selfishly, we wanted it by ourselves,” Peacocke said. “Our No. 1 goal from the beginning this year was to be Wesco South champions. It was real important to us. This was a playoff-type atmosphere with two playoff teams and I think that’s the most important thing is getting this experience — this type of game — before we start districts so the kids have confidence going in that they can play well in a tight game, battle adversity and come out on top.”
Casel, Jackson’s leadoff hitter, batted 3-for-5 with two runs scored — including the game-winner in the 10th. Werner (1-for-4) also scored a run and helped spark the Timberwolves’ offense.
“In both of our scoring opportunities Kaylei Werner and Sarah Casel were kind of the catalysts,” Peacocke said. “That’s kind of their job. They’re slappers. They put the ball in play and use their speed to get on base. They both had great games.”
Lynnwood was led by Lester, who was a perfect 5-for-5 with two doubles, a run scored and the go-ahead RBI in the top of the 10th.
The Royals had at least one runner reach base in every inning but two.
“The last time we faced them we got no-hit. Today we got 13 hits, so we’ve improved, that’s for sure,” said Lynnwood head coach Matt Rockne. “I told the girls after the game, it’s OK to be mad. They should be mad and they were mad. But not to be sad about it. It was just too good of game.
“It was a great game to be involved in.”
At Jackson H.S.
Lynnwood 000 100 100 1 — 3 13 4
Jackson 002 000 000 2 — 4 9 3
Jessica Gott and Meagan Crabtree. Sophie Frost and Kayla Ellis. WP—Frost. LP—Gott. 2B—Dasia Lester (L) 2, Erica Gott (L), Celeste Angell (L), Kristen Scott (J). Records—Lynnwood 10-5 league, 14-6 overall. Jackson 12-3, 17-3.