Monroe, Jackson softball teams reach 4A state semifinals

If they both win, Saturday’s championship game will be an all-Wesco affair

SPOKANE — For at least one more game, Monroe High School softball coach Ashley Tuiasosopo can offer well wishes to her Wesco 4A state tournament competition.

“We wish Jackson the best and all the Wesco teams,” Tuiasosopo said. “We hope they do well and get the job done, and we are also focusing on getting the job done.”

After sweeping their 4A state tournament opening-round and quarterfinal matchups Friday, Monroe and Jackson are one victory each from facing off in an all-Wesco 4A state championship game.

“I’ve said it all year, Wesco has some of the best teams in Washington,” Jackson coach Kyle Peacocke said.

The Timberwolves, as they have all season, relied on their dominant ace, junior Iyanla Pennington, and a strong defense. Pennington struck out 31 batters in 12 innings Friday. She helped Jackson earn a 10-0 opening-round win over Kentwood in five innings before the T-Wolves edged top-ranked Puyallup 4-0 in the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, Monroe built early leads and kept piling on during its 8-0 opening-round win against Tahoma and 9-4 quarterfinal victory over Richland. Pitchers Sarah Reeves and McKenzie Schulz were both effective in the circle, and Cassidy Conrad hit a key late-game, two-run homer against Richland to let the Bearcats breathe easy in the game’s final inning.

Jackson faces Camas in a semifinal matchup at 10 a.m. Saturday at Dwight-Merkel Sports Complex in Spokane. Monroe plays at the same time and complex against Central Valley in its semifinal.

The Timberwolves (23-1) are at state for the fourth consecutive season. They have never placed higher than fourth.

Jackson, which through four postseason games has yet to yield a run, will be looking for another fine performance from Pennington.

“The kids are just really playing great as a team and playing for each other,” Peacocke said. “(Pennington) is a special kid. She is fired up and pitching really well and confident. She’s really working well with our catcher, Sam Mutolo.”

Tuiasosopo credited all 18 players on her roster with Friday’s two wins, and she’s counting on a senior-laden roster to help the Bearcats end their season on the highest of notes.

“We have nine seniors, and they know exactly what it takes,” Tuiasosopo said. “They know every game they are going to play a great opponent like they did today. They get to come out here and have fun and just enjoy each other these last few games together.”

Monroe placed third last year, which ranks as the best finish in program history.

3A STATE TOURNAMENT

Edmonds-Woodway 6, Bainbridge 4

Bonney Lake 4, Edmonds-Woodway 2

Gig Harbor 11, Edmonds-Woodway 10

The Edmonds-Woodway Warriors saw their dream of a Class 3A state championship come to an end Friday with a loss to Bonney Lake in the quarterfinals.

Edmonds-Woodway then suffered a season-ending loss in a consolation game against Gig Harbor on Friday night.

Kaitlyn Rust led E-W with three hits in the quarterfinal defeat. Bonney Lake pitcher Brooke Nelson struck out 12 Warriors and also hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning that proved to be the difference.

The Warriors reached the second round with a victory over Bainbridge on Friday morning.

The Warriors scored five times in the first three innings and withstood a three-run fourth from Bainbridge.

Kyra Collingridge earned the win on the mound. Heidi Davis hit a solo home run for E-W in the top of the fourth inning. Annika Forseth was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Mya Fegler was 2-for-3 with an RBI to lead the Warriors at the plate.

2A STATE TOURNAMENT

Selah 5, Lakewood 1

Lakewood 8, White River 5

Ridgefield 11, Lakewood 1

Lakewood’s second state tournament trip in program history didn’t produce any hardware, but the Cougars did earn their first-ever state win after going 1-2 during the 2A state tournament Friday at Carlon Park in Selah.

After suffering an opening-round loss to Selah, Lakewood kept its season alive with a consolation win over White River.

But the Cougars’ season came to end with their loss to Ridgefield on Friday night. They finished with an 18-8 record.

1A STATE TOURNAMENT

Deer Park 4, South Whidbey 2

Warden 10, South Whidbey 3

For the second consecutive year, South Whidbey was denied a day-two game during the 1A state tournament.

The Falcons (12-13) fell behind early in each of their two state matchups and suffered an opening-round loss to Deer Park before a defeat at the hands of Warden in an elimination game on Friday at Columbia Playfield in Richland.

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