Kamiak’s Synclair Mawudeku pitches during the game against Skyline on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Kamiak’s Synclair Mawudeku pitches during the game against Skyline on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Kamiak topples Skyline to secure state softball berth

The Knights bounce back from an opening-round loss to win two loser-out games, capped by a 5-1 victory over the Wolves.

EVERETT — Kamiak’s opening-round 6-5 loss to Eastlake on Monday in the Class 4A District 1/2 Tournament was a tough pill for the Knights to swallow.

After routing Inglemoor 22-2 on Wednesday in a loser-out game, the No. 5-seed Knights backed it up with a 5-1 win over third-seeded Skyline in a winner-to-state tilt on Friday at the Phil Johnson Ballfields.

With the victory, Kamiak claimed one of the four available spots at districts for the upcoming state tournament, which runs next weekend.

“It was much-needed,” Kamiak coach Ann Bradley said. “These girls have been together for two years, so this was in the making. We told them before the game started, ‘You’ve waited, it’s time, show ‘em what you have.’”

In the third inning, junior Ally Boulger launched a solo home run to left field to provide the Knights (19-5) a 2-0 lead. They tacked on three more runs in the fifth, where senior Grace Rudek concluded the run with a two-RBI single.

Freshman Synclair Mawudeku, who had relinquished a crucial grand slam in Monday’s loss against Eastlake, drew the start against the Spartans (19-7) and delivered a shutout through six frames, before giving up a concession run.

“She went the distance,” Bradley said. “To me, after she played Eastlake and gave up that grand slam … that’s a lot for a freshman to take in and deal with. So, we had a talk. … She told me if they hit one on her today, I could pull her out.”

The victory penciled in Kamiak, along with Glacier Peak and Jackson, as the three Wesco representatives out of the 10-team bi-district bracket to qualify for state.

“Only three of us (from Wesco) came in and they had seven to knock us out, it’s amazing,” Bradley said. “Wesco is the wild west, it really is. One day you’re hot, the next day the other is hot.”

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