1A Softball: Baxter Brilliant in Opener, but Beavers Eliminated in District Playoffs

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Tenino shut out La Center in its opener, but lost to Castle Rock in the second round before being eliminated by Hoquiam on Wednesday in the District 4 1A softball tournament in Elma.

Emily Baxter tossed a no-hitter in the Beavers’ opener and nearly recorded a perfect game in a 3-0 win. The pitcher struck out a whopping 21 batters without issuing a walk, fanning the first 13 Castle Rock hitters she saw before getting an out on a ground ball to third base. A dropped third strike was the only time a runner reached base.

“Emily pitched an amazing first game,” Tenino coach Chris Johnson said.

The struck out every other batter she saw in the seven-inning contest, only missing out on a perfect game when La Center’s leadoff hitter reached base on a dropped third strike to start the seventh inning. Baxter fanned the next three hitters to end the game.

Tenino, meanwhile, got all three of its runs on a homer from Cassie Cannon with two outs in the fifth inning. 

The win moved Tenino into a second-round game with Castle Rock, which the Rockets won on the strength of a 10-strikeout, three-hit performance from pitcher Payton Kessler.

Baxter hit an RBI double and Cannon and Kayla Feltus each had hits for the Beavers. Baxter was again solid in the circle with 11 strikeouts, three hits and no walks, but the defense committed six errors, which led to three unearned Rocket runs.

The loss dropped Tenino into a loser-out game against Hoquiam that quickly turned into an offensive battle. The Beavers pounded out 16 hits but seven defensive miscues helped the Grizzlies score eight unearned runs in the 11-10 win.

Cannon went 3 for 5 with two doubles and an RBI, Abby Severse went 4 for 5 with a pair of doubles and four RBIs, and Alivia Hunter was 3 for 4 with an RBI. Baxter helped her own cause with an RBI double and struck out four while allowing three earned runs.

Carron Blood hit a solo homer for Hoquiam.

Tenino finished the season with a 9-8 record.

“Rough way to end it, but it was OK,” Johnson said. “We’re going to miss our three starting seniors, but we’ll revamp and be ready next season. We’ll move forward and have a good group of six returners.”

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