Mixture of experience, youth led Terrace softball to 2A state

After a heartbreaking 8-7 loss to Glacier Peak left Mountlake Terrace’s softball team one game short of a 3A state tournament berth last season the Hawks — led by a group of key returners and an infusion of talent from a stellar freshman class — find themselves competing at state for the first time since 2013.

Terrace (18-4) faced a higher level of regular-season competition than its state tournament peers this season after being reclassified from 3A to 2A, but the Hawks remained in Wesco’s 3A division as its only 2A school.

The team had a rough go of things against the bigger schools early, dropping its first two games thanks to a slew of defensive mistakes, according to Hawks coach Shannon Rasmussen.

But the Hawks rebounded to run off nine straight wins — all against teams in either 3A or 4A — outscoring their opponents 100-22 over that stretch.

“It was a huge factor for us when we got to districts,” Rasmussen said about playing in Wesco. “To be able to compete with teams like Snohomish, Edmonds-Woodway and Meadowdale has been huge … it has shown us we can play with any team.”

The Hawks took home a share of the Wesco 3A South title, splitting the crown with defending state champion Meadowdale. It’s the school’s first conference championship in softball since the program moved from slowpitch to fastpitch.

In the district tournament, the Hawks ran through the competition unblemished, including a 4-3 comeback victory over previously unbeaten Sehome in the championship game.

The Hawks hope their core of returners from last season — Gabby Calhoun (.455 batting average), Jazz Zenk (.471, 31 RBI), Sammy Ruiz (.515, 30 RBI), and Kira Doan (9-4 record, 2.03 ERA), and their talented trio of freshmen, Jamie Bingaman (.258), Jenna Maxfield (.322), and Kierra Scott (5-0, 2.88) — can keep the ball rolling as they prepare to face Sequim in their first state tournament game at 10 a.m. Friday at Carlon Park in Selah.

“The girls are loose and ready to play again, especially the seniors,” Rasmussen said.

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