Jackson freshman Allie Thomsen is congratulated by her teammates after hitting a game-tying two-run homer in the Timberwolves’ 5-3 extra-inning win over Glacier Peak on Wednesday. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Jackson freshman Allie Thomsen is congratulated by her teammates after hitting a game-tying two-run homer in the Timberwolves’ 5-3 extra-inning win over Glacier Peak on Wednesday. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Jackson softball rallies past GP in extras, secures outright Wesco 4A title

Freshman Allie Thomsen stars at the plate and in the circle, leading the Timberwolves to a 5-3 comeback win in 8 innings.

 

SNOHOMISH — Allie Thomsen is only a freshman.

But she sure doesn’t play like one.

In a pressure-packed regular-season finale Wednesday afternoon, Thomsen was at the center of a thrilling comeback by the Jackson High School softball team.

Thomsen blasted a game-tying two-run homer. She entered the circle in relief and escaped a tense seventh-inning jam to force extras. And moments later, she drove in the game’s deciding run.

Led by the freshman standout’s heroics, the visiting Timberwolves secured the outright Wesco 4A title with a dramatic 5-3 eight-inning victory over Glacier Peak in the regular-season finale for both teams.

“She’s a special player,” Jackson coach Kyle Peacocke said. “She’s been clutch for us all year long, both at the plate and the opportunities that she’s had to pitch. She sure doesn’t (play) like a freshman. She plays like a veteran.”

The Timberwolves entered the final day of the regular season with a one-game lead over second-place Lake Stevens in the Wesco 4A standings.

Jackson fell into an early 3-0 deficit against Glacier Peak, but rallied for an extra-inning win to clinch the league title outright.

With the victory, the Timberwolves (19-1, 7-1 Wesco 4A) finished league play two games ahead of Lake Stevens, which lost its regular-season finale to Kamiak on Wednesday. Glacier Peak (14-5, 4-4) finished tied with Kamiak for third place in the five-team league.

“The (top) four Wesco 4A teams are all really good teams,” Peacocke said. “It’s a battle every single time. I’m proud of our kids for showing some resiliency (today) and coming from behind. It was a great ‘W.’”

Despite capturing back-to-back Class 4A state championships in 2018 and 2019, this marks Jackson’s first outright league title since winning the Wesco 4A South in 2014.

The Timberwolves’ 2018 and 2019 state championship teams were co-league champions both years, which was a testament to Wesco 4A’s strength. Jackson split the 2018 Wesco 4A title with Lake Stevens and finished in a three-way tie with Lake Stevens and Glacier Peak for the 2019 Wesco 4A crown.

“It’s a huge goal and accomplishment for us,” Peacocke said of the outright league title. “And we had to fight for it. It was a goal that the girls set from the beginning of the season, so we’re super proud.”

Jackson junior Macie Dean (left) celebrates with teammate Hailey Pelletier after scoring a run. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Jackson junior Macie Dean (left) celebrates with teammate Hailey Pelletier after scoring a run. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

After a 16-0 start to the season, the Timberwolves fell to Lake Stevens last week for their first loss of the spring.

And for much of Wednesday’s game, it looked like Jackson was in danger of its second defeat in eight days.

Glacier Peak jumped ahead in the bottom of the first, when junior Ashleigh Wojcik lofted a one-out triple over the right fielder’s head and scored on a groundout for the game’s first run. Wojcik came through again in the second inning, lining a two-run single up the middle to give the Grizzlies a 3-0 lead.

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves’ high-powered offense struggled to get going against Glacier Peak senior pitcher Brynna Farman. Through the first four innings, Farman held Jackson to only one hit.

But the tide turned in the fifth, when sophomore Leneyah Mitchell put the Timberwolves on the board with a solo homer that sailed just over the center fielder’s outstretched glove.

“That really brought our energy up,” Thomsen said. “I think that got everyone like, ‘We’re back in this game.’”

In the top of the sixth, Jackson junior Macie Dean led off the frame by taking a pitch off her foot. Thomsen, the ensuing batter, then blasted an opposite-field, two-run homer over the left-center field fence to tie the game at 3-3.

“The energy just kind of went through the roof from there,” Peacocke said.

Jackson freshman Allie Thomsen rounds third base after hitting a game-tying two-run homer. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Jackson freshman Allie Thomsen rounds third base after hitting a game-tying two-run homer. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

The Timberwolves faced a major threat from Glacier Peak in the bottom of the seventh. The Grizzlies put runners on first and second with one out, which prompted the Timberwolves to bring in Thomsen to pitch.

Thomsen struck out the first batter she faced with a called third strike on the outside corner. Jackson then intentionally walked freshman cleanup hitter Bri Titus, who homered against the Timberwolves in their first matchup this season.

That loaded the bases with two outs, putting the winning run just 60 feet away.

Thomsen remained cool under pressure, working the ensuing batter to a 1-2 count. Glacier Peak’s batter then hit a hard one-hopper right back at Thomsen, who snatched it and threw to first for an inning-ending out to force extras.

“Absolutely no panic,” Peacocke said of Thomsen’s ability to escape that seventh-inning jam. “She’s just a rock for our team.”

In the top of the eighth, Dean got hit by another pitch and then advanced to second on a ball in the dirt. And once again, Jackson’s freshman phenom followed with a big hit.

Thomsen lined with a hard groundball single up the middle, which sent Dean racing around third and sliding into home for the go-ahead run.

Thomsen, who advanced to second on the throw home, then scored on a line-drive single by sophomore Hailey Pelletier to extend the Timberwolves’ lead to 5-3.

Returning to the circle with a two-run cushion, Thomsen breezed through a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth to seal the victory.

After punching out the final batter on a called third strike, Thomsen celebrated by leaping into the air and then hugging her coach and teammates.

“As a team, we brought ourselves back together and really dialed in and took the win,” Thomsen said.

Jackson freshman Allie Thomsen celebrates the final out of the Timberwolves’ extra-inning win. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Jackson freshman Allie Thomsen celebrates the final out of the Timberwolves’ extra-inning win. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Thomsen finished 3-for-4 at the plate with a homer and three RBIs. In the circle, she pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings and struck out three of the five batters she faced, excluding the intentional walk.

Sophomore ace Yanina Sherwood started in the circle for Jackson and pitched 6 1/3 quality innings. She allowed three runs — only one of which was earned — and seven hits. She struck out eight batters and walked none.

Sherwood has handled the bulk of the team’s pitching this season and has been dominant in the vast majority of her outings. But recently, as the Timberwolves went through the second half of Wesco 4A’s double round-robin schedule, they began using Thomsen as a reliever more frequently.

“When we play each other multiple times, it makes for a difficult situation, because the hitters know what we’re doing and you’ve gotta mix it up once you get to the third and fourth time in the lineup,” Peacocke said.

Wojcik had a big day at the plate for Glacier Peak, finishing 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs. Faith Jordan, a junior, added two hits for the Grizzlies.

Farman pitched a strong five innings for Glacier Peak, limiting Jackson’s high-scoring lineup to just two runs and two hits. She struck out seven batters and walked only one.

Both teams now turn their attention to next week’s 4A District 1/2 Tournament, which figures to be a highly competitive affair. Wesco 4A and KingCo 4A — the two leagues that make up the tournament — account for six of the top 14 teams in the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s 4A state RPI rankings.

“They’re gonna be crazy games,” Peacocke said.

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