SELAH — It was appropriate to call the Bearcats’ day at Carlon Park a bit of a wild ride.
First, they wound up in yet another game with rival Tumwater — coming up short, for the third time in five tries, in the semifinals of the 2A state softball tournament.
Tumwater went on to blow out Othello, 13-3, in the finals. The Bearcats went on to edge Rochester, also a 2A Evergreen Conference team, in another eight-inning loser-out game before drubbing Lynden, 14-4, in the third-place game.
“To play a game like we did, in the semifinals — it just had the feeling of a final,” Bearcat coach Caty Lieseke said of the Tumwater game. “It was quite a roller-coaster of emotions, to be within one pitch of winning a semifinal.”
It’s the Bearcats’ fifth top-three finish in the last five state tournaments. They finished the season 23-5 and graduate seniors Breanna Crosby and Kamy Dacus, the latter of whom tossed every inning of their five games in Selah.
Rochester, meanwhile, was making its first appearance in the state tournament since 2000. The Warriors bounced back from a tight loss to Lynden on Friday in the first round to win twice Friday night, then hammered Ellensburg Saturday morning before falling to W.F. West in an eight-inning consolation semifinal.
“Our goal for the year was to get here, and the girls showed up,” first-year Rochester coach Joni Lancaster said. “We’ve been telling them, ‘We’ve got to peak. We’ve got to peak,’ and they peaked at the right time. We were ready for state, and the girls wanted it.”
The Warriors finished the season 17-10 and graduate senior pitchers Lakota Escott and Sadie Knutson.
W.F. West 14, Lynden 4
Lynden showed off plenty of power at the plate. Unfortunately for the Lions, that was the entirety of its offense — all four Lynden runs came on solo homers, and W.F. West smacked 17 hits in a 14-4, five-inning blowout in the third-place game of the 2A state softball tournament.
Breanna Crosby’s two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning pushed the lead to 10 runs and ended things early, and Kamy Dacus and Savannah Hawkins both homered for W.F. West.
Hawkins’ two-run shot was her third of the day and caromed off the scoreboard in left field to highlight an eight-run fourth inning that left the Bearcats up 12-3.
Dacus hit a solo homer in the third inning and finished 3 for 4 with three RBIs. Hawkins was also 3 for 4 with three RBIs.
Dacus — as she did in each of the Bearcats’ five games in Selah — pitched the complete game, striking out three, allowing eight hits and not walking a batter.
Lynden’s Grace Potter led off the fourth inning with a solo home run. Childrey DeJong homered in the next at-bat, and Sammy Garcia followed that with a solo shot. Dacus, however, retired the next three batters to end the frame.
Ashlyn Alexander added a solo homer for Lynden in the fifth inning. The Lions beat Lakewood, 15-13, in eight innings to reach the trophy round and finished fourth in the state with a 21-5-1 record.
Lena Fragner had three hits for W.F. West. Brielle Etter, Avalon Myers, Staysha Fluetsch and Crosby each had two hits for the Bearcats.
W.F. West 12, Rochester 8 (8 inn.)
The Bearcats rallied from a three-run deficit to tie the game in the seventh inning, then exploded for five runs in the extra frame to knock Rochester out of the tournament one game shy of the trophy round.
Rochester took a 7-4 lead in the fifth inning on a three-run homer from Kassidy Byrd and was two outs away from eliminating their EvCo opponents. With one out, however, Avalon Myers launched a three run homer that tied things up. Bearcat pitcher Kamy Dacus then set the Warriors down in order to force extra innings.
The Bearcat offense picked up its pace. After the first batter reached on an interference call, Lena Fragner drove in a run with a single to start the five-run rally. Brielle Etter added a single, Dacus doubled in a pair of runs, and the Bearcats pushed across all five runs before recording an out.
Byrd doubled and eventually scored in the bottom of the eighth, but the Warriors were unable to tie things back up.
Layna Demers went 2 for 4 with a home run for Rochester. Savannah Hawkins was 2 for 2 with a pair of homers and three walks for W.F. West.
Rochester 11, Ellensburg 3
The Warriors scored seven runs in the second inning and never looked back, drubbing Ellensburg 11-3 to stay alive Saturday morning.
McKenna Vassar led the Warrior attack, going 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles. Sadie Knutson was 3 for 3 and Lakota Escott added a solo home run in the fifth inning.
That big second frame featured five hits — including a double from Lenzi and a triple from Macey Fluetsch — three of the Bulldogs’ four errors.
The win pushed Rochester into the consolation semifinals against W.F. West. Maddie Kennedy-Colson homered for Ellensburg, which saw its season end with a 15-13 record.
Tumwater 5, W.F. West 3
The Bearcats’ rubber match with EvCo rival — and eventual 2A state champion — Tumwater went eight innings, with the Thunderbirds eventually plating a pair of runs in the eighth to advance to the state championship.
The win also gave the T-Birds a 3-2 advantage in the season series; Tumwater won two of the teams’ three regular-season games, but lost in the 2A District 4 title game, 4-2. None of the five games was decided by more than two runs.
Rachel Gray homered for W.F. West and Kamy Dacus singled to tie things up at 3-3.
Jaime Haase homered for Tumwater.