Snohomish’s Alex Flohr delivers a pitch against Stanwood during the Class 3A District 1 softball tournament Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at the Phil Johnson Ballfields in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Snohomish’s Alex Flohr delivers a pitch against Stanwood during the Class 3A District 1 softball tournament Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at the Phil Johnson Ballfields in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Snohomish secures 8th consecutive state berth with wins at districts

The Panthers pull away for wins over Everett and Stanwood to reach the Class 3A District 1 title game.

EVERETT — Another spring, another trip to the state tournament and district title game for the Snohomish High School softball team.

The top-seeded Panthers turned a pair of close Class 3A District 1 tournament games on their head with big innings late, exploding for five runs in the sixth inning of a quarterfinal game and nine over the final three innings of a semifinal matchup, to secure their eighth consecutive state tournament appearance and eighth straight trip to a district title game.

Snohomish (19-3) overpowered ninth-seeded Everett 12-5 in the quarterfinals and finished the day off in style with a mercy-rule walk-off from Alex Flohr to beat 12th-seeded Stanwood 13-3 in six innings in the semifinals.

The Wesco 3A/2A champion Panthers advance to face third-seeded Mountlake Terrace in the district title game 6 p.m. Thursday at Phil Johnson Ballfields.

“It has been another really strong season,” Snohomish coach Patti Lande said. “I’m blessed to just have incredible players. We’re deeper than the field allows us to play, and that’s hard, but they all are team-first kind of kids.”

Everett (12-11) beat fourth-seeded Mount Vernon 17-0 in a loser-out consolation game following quarterfinal contest. The Seagulls take on rival and second-seeded Cascade in a winner-to-state, loser-out consolation game 4 p.m. Thursday at Phil Johnson Ballfields. Stanwood (11-12), which beat Mount Vernon 8-2 in its quarterfinal game, will face sixth-seeded Marysville Getchell in a winner-to-state, loser-out consolation game 4 p.m. Thursday at Phil Johnson Ballfields.

After trailing 5-4 heading into the bottom of the third against Everett, Snohomish regained its lead by stringing together a run in three consecutive one-rum innings. Senior Skyla Bristol tied it with a solo home run in the third and senior Bridget Johnson plated the go-ahead run with a double in the fourth. The Panthers sent nine batters to the plate in their five-run sixth inning.

In the semifinal game, Snohomish broke a tie on junior Kendel Sage’s RBI single for a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the third. The Panthers pushed across three more on senior Emma Hansen’s home run in the fourth, four in the fifth and received an RBI triple from Avery Clark and the walk-off RBI single from Flohr to close things out in the sixth.

Snohomish’s Skyla Bristol pitches in the later innings against Stanwood during the Class 3A District 1 softball tournament Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at the Phil Johnson Ballfields in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Snohomish’s Skyla Bristol pitches in the later innings against Stanwood during the Class 3A District 1 softball tournament Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at the Phil Johnson Ballfields in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

“I think a lot of times, even though we have beat some of the teams before, it takes a second to settle in,” Lande said of being in close games early. “But they’re mature enough that they don’t panic. We just talk about what it is that needs to be improved, that needs to be slightly changed, and they just make it happen.”

Bristol combined for four hits, including a double and two home runs, and seven RBI over both games. She pitched four scoreless innings of relief with nine strikeouts and earned the win in circle against Everett. She also pitched three scoreless innings of relief and struck out all nine batters she faced against Stanwood. Clark had two RBI both games.

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