Cascade and Snohomish are among the nine local high school softball teams headed to their respective state tournaments this weekend. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Cascade and Snohomish are among the nine local high school softball teams headed to their respective state tournaments this weekend. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

State softball preview: A look at the area’s state-bound teams

Nine local high school softball teams are playing in their respective state tournaments this weekend.

Below is a look at the nine local high school softball teams that are headed to their respective state tournaments, which run Friday through Saturday.

For each classification, teams that qualified for state through their respective district tournaments were seeded by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s seeding committees. The committees used the WIAA’s state RPI rankings as one tool in their seeding process.

These are the first state softball tournaments since 2019. The 2020 and 2021 state tournaments were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

CLASS 4A

Where: Dwight Merkel Sports Complex (Spokane)

Format: 16-team bracket for the state championship, along with a consolation bracket for the third-place and fourth-place trophies.

Top four seeds: No. 1 Kentwood (20-0), No. 2 Jackson (22-2), No. 3 Skyview (18-1), No. 4 Puyallup (23-1)

No. 2 Jackson: After winning the past two 4A state titles in 2018 and 2019, the perennial powerhouse Timberwolves (22-2) are back at state for the sixth consecutive postseason. Jackson claimed the Wesco 4A crown and has outscored opponents by 6.8 runs per game, while earning eight victories over 4A and 3A state tournament teams. Hard-throwing sophomore ace Yanina Sherwood sports a 1.22 earned-run average and a 37% strikeout rate, while freshman change-of-pace reliever Allie Thomsen has a 1.50 ERA. The Timberwolves have blasted 33 home runs and feature a deep and talented lineup that includes sophomore Hailey Pelletier (batting .434), Thomsen (.390 with 10 homers), senior Kalia Zellmer (.386), junior Macie Dean (.364), junior Simone Williams (.350), sophomore Leneyah Mitchell (.329), sophomore Rachel Sysum (.317 with six homers) and Sherwood (six homers).

Yanina Sherwood and the Timberwolves are looking to capture their program’s third consecutive state title. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Yanina Sherwood and the Timberwolves are looking to capture their program’s third consecutive state title. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

CLASS 3A

Where: Regional Athletic Complex (Lacey)

Format: 20-team tournament, with seeds Nos. 13-20 squaring off in loser-out play-in games. From there, the tournament is a 16-team bracket for the state championship, along with a consolation bracket for the third-place and fourth-place trophies.

Top four seeds: No. 1 Walla Walla (19-2), No. 2 Lake Washington (21-2), No. 3 Roosevelt (22-4), No. 4 Peninsula (21-1)

No. 6 Snohomish: The Panthers (19-4) finished atop the 16-team Wesco 3A/2A standings to claim their seventh league title in the past eight full-length seasons. Snohomish then earned its seventh consecutive state berth and held a 16-game win streak before falling to Cascade in the 3A District 1 championship game. The Panthers are led by a high-powered lineup that averages 9.6 runs per contest. They have six starters batting at least .370: Senior Alli Wilson (.509), junior Skyla Bristol (.490), junior Emma Hansen (.441), junior Lily Bellak (.419), junior Evy Massena (.370) and sophomore Avery Clark (.370).

Alli Wilson (left) and Emma Hansen helped lead the Panthers to the Wesco 3A/2A title and their program’s seventh consecutive state berth. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Alli Wilson (left) and Emma Hansen helped lead the Panthers to the Wesco 3A/2A title and their program’s seventh consecutive state berth. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

No. 9 Cascade: After seven consecutive losing seasons, the Bruins (17-6) have experienced a massive turnaround this spring. They tied for second in Wesco 3A/2A, made a storybook run to the 3A District 1 title and are headed to state for the first time since 2009 and just the second time in program history. Cascade’s district title run included a wild semifinal comeback, when they rallied from a 10-run sixth-inning deficit to beat Arlington 14-12 on a walkoff grand slam by junior Ashlyee Bloch. The Bruins then blasted seven homers in 14-7 district title game romp of league champion Snohomish. Cascade is led by sophomore Jaidyn Wilson (batting .526), Bloch (.424), junior Alexa Hamshaw (.417) and junior pitcher Abby Surowiec (.323).

Katelyn Pryor (center) and the Bruins engineered a massive turnaround that culminated in a district title and just the second trip to state in program history. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Katelyn Pryor (center) and the Bruins engineered a massive turnaround that culminated in a district title and just the second trip to state in program history. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

No. 10 Arlington: The Eagles (17-6) are headed to state for the first time since winning the 2013 4A state title. Arlington has won 10 of its past 11 games, with its only loss over that stretch coming after blowing a 10-run lead to Cascade in the 3A District 1 semifinals. The Eagles bounced back from that defeat to beat Monroe and punch their ticket to state. Arlington is led by senior pitcher Lizzie Durfee, senior Riley Ryan (batting .473), senior Lexi Eck (.443 with seven homers), senior Kailyn Thai (.435), junior Maddy Fischer (.429) and junior Taylor Stevens (seven homers).

Lexi Eck (left) and the Eagles earned their program’s first state berth since 2013. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Lexi Eck (left) and the Eagles earned their program’s first state berth since 2013. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

No. 13 Monroe: After a 4A third-place state finish in 2017 and a 4A runner-up state finish in 2018, the Bearcats (16-6) are back at state for the third time in the past four postseasons. Monroe went 2-2 in the 3A District 1 Tournament, but rebounded from a loss to Arlington with a 15-0 mercy-rule rout of Everett to claim the district’s fifth and final state berth. Monroe bats .373 as a team and has seven starters hitting above .300 — including Stanford-bound senior shortstop River Mahler (.690 with six homers and 23 extra-base hits), junior Annie Oylear (.500) and senior pitcher Emma Nagy (.471 with six homers).

Annie Oylear (left), River Mahler and the Bearcats are making their program’s third state appearance in the past four postseasons. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Annie Oylear (left), River Mahler and the Bearcats are making their program’s third state appearance in the past four postseasons. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

No. 16 Marysville Getchell: The Chargers (14-10) are making their first state appearance in their program’s decade-long history. Marysville Getchell faced a tough non-league slate and started the year 3-8, but has since won 11 of its past 13 games en route to its second-ever winning season. The seventh-seeded Chargers’ run to state included back-to-back district tournament victories over better-seeded teams, with an elimination-game win over Shorewood and a state-clinching win over Everett. Marysville Getchell is led by junior Teagan Carroll (batting .554 with 22 extra-base hits), freshman Lilyana Balgos (.435) and senior pitcher Morgan Epperson (.346 with seven homers).

Marysville Getchell is headed to state for the first time in its program’s decade-long history. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Marysville Getchell is headed to state for the first time in its program’s decade-long history. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

CLASS 2A

Where: Carlon Park (Selah)

Format: 16-team bracket for the state championship, along with a consolation bracket for the third-place and fourth-place trophies.

Top four seeds: No. 1 Othello (21-1), No. 2 W.F. West (19-4), No. 3 Lynden (17-3), No. 4 Shadle Park (19-2)

No. 10 Cedarcrest: While playing in a mostly 3A league, the Red Wolves (12-10) finished in the middle of the 16-team Wesco 3A/2A standings. Cedarcrest then made a run to the 2A District 1 title game, beating top-seeded Sedro-Woolley 15-12 in the semifinals to secure its third state berth in the past five postseasons and its first since 2017. The Red Wolves average 9.4 runs per contest, led by senior Katharine Townley (batting .508), sophomore Talesa Predmore (.394), junior Madison Knowles (.381 with seven homers), sophomore Peyton Hayes (.354) and junior Kaylee Hulse (.348).

No. 12 Lakewood: After only one state appearance in program history prior to 2018, the Cougars (16-6) are now headed to state for the third consecutive postseason. Lakewood tied for fourth out of 15 teams in the Northwest Conference. Then after a 2A District 1 semifinal loss to Lynden, the Cougars rebounded to win back-to-back elimination games over Anacortes and top-seeded Sedro-Woolley to claim the district’s third and final state berth. Lakewood is led by a high-powered lineup that averages 10.4 runs per game.

CLASS 1B

Where: Gateway Sports Complex (Yakima)

Format: Eight-team bracket for the state championship, along with a consolation bracket for the third-place and fourth-place trophies.

Top four seeds: No. 1 Liberty Christian (18-2), No. 2 Colton (15-5), No. 3 Inchelium (19-5), No. 4 DeSales (13-8)

No. 8 Darrington: The Loggers (8-7) are making their program’s second trip to state. Their only other state appearance came at the 2B level in 2014. Darrington suffered a 14-13 loss to Quilcene in the 1B District 1/2 title game, but rebounded to beat Mossyrock 7-6 in a loser-out crossover game to advance to state. Darrington is seeking its first-ever state win.

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