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

Capsules for each of the nine local teams playing in this weekend’s state softball tournaments.

Below is a look at the nine area softball teams that qualified for their respective state tournaments, which run Friday through Saturday.

Each tournament consists of a 16-team modified double-elimination bracket, with one loss eliminating a team from state-title contention and two losses eliminating a team from the tournament.

CLASS 4A

Where: Dwight Merkel Sports Complex (Spokane)

Jackson: The defending state champion Timberwolves (22-2) own a 13-game win streak and are coming off their fifth consecutive bi-district or district title. Ace pitcher Iyanla De Jesus sports a 0.84 earned-run average, strikes out 2.3 batters per inning and has tossed seven no-hitters this season. The Coastal Carolina-bound two-way star also bats .638 with 10 home runs. Jackson seeks to become the first back-to-back 4A state champion since Kelso in 2009 and 2010.

Lake Stevens: After falling one win short of state each of the past two seasons — despite going 26-2 in Wesco 4A play over that stretch — the Vikings broke through to earn their first state berth since 2014. Lake Stevens (18-4) has won nine of its past 11 games, with its only losses during that stretch being a pair of two-run defeats to defending state champion Jackson. New York University-bound Rachael Eichenberger bats .500 for the Vikings, and Kiley Hubby hits .419 with seven home runs.

Glacier Peak: The Grizzlies (18-6) earned their first state berth at the 4A level with a wild walkoff victory, scoring the game-tying and winning runs on a seventh-inning Bothell error to claim the bi-district’s fifth and final state spot. Several college-bound players lead a hard-hitting Grizzlies team that averages nine runs per game and blasted four homers in one of its bi-district tournament contests.

CLASS 3A

Where: Regional Athletic Complex (Lacey)

Meadowdale: After seeing their streak of six consecutive state appearances end last season, the Mavericks (19-4) are back at state for the seventh time in eight years. Meadowdale is riding a 17-game win streak, having gone unbeaten through Wesco 3A/2A play and a district-title run. Led by ace pitcher Kate Houghton, the Mavericks have allowed just 12 runs combined in their past 15 games.

Snohomish: Since ending a 14-year state drought in 2014, the reigning state runner-up Panthers (19-3) are back at state for the sixth consecutive season. Snohomish’s only losses are a pair of defeats to Wesco 3A/2A champion Meadowdale and a non-league defeat to defending 4A state champion Jackson. The hard-hitting Panthers average 9.8 runs per game.

Everett: After missing state last season, the Seagulls (19-5) beat Marysville Getchell in a district elimination game last week to earn their fourth state berth in five years. Alabama A&M-bound Jackie Rookaird and Kassidy Millar share the bulk of Everett’s pitching duties and lead an offense that averages 8.6 runs per contest.

Edmonds-Woodway: The Warriors (11-14) shook off a 1-9 start and advanced to state for the fourth time in five years, despite owning a losing record and a negative run differential. After posting a 7-7 conference mark and finishing eighth out of 15 teams in Wesco 3A/2A, Edmonds-Woodway punched its ticket to state by ousting reigning state semifinalist Marysville Pilchuck in a district elimination game.

CLASS 2A

Where: Carlon Park (Selah)

Lakewood: The youth-laden Cougars (19-4) are making their second consecutive state appearance and just their third in fastpitch program history. Lakewood has already set a fastpitch school record for wins, surpassing last year’s mark by one victory. Riley Mae Swanson is hitting nearly .600, leading a Lakewood team that has a .404 batting average and 81 extra-base hits.

CLASS 1A

Where: Columbia Playfield (Richland)

Coupeville: After falling one win short of state each of the past two seasons, the Wolves (14-8) broke through to earn their third state berth in program history. Sarah Wright leads Coupeville with a .625 batting average and 18 extra-base hits, including four home runs.

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