Kirshenbaum: It All Ended With a Bang


Soon, this will all just be numbers on the wall, banners hanging from the rafters.

Adna writes all of its state-placing teams on the wall of its gym. There will be a 2023 going up in the softball column — sorry, the second softball column, since that program had a bit more success than the original designers of the layout may have expected — for the state champs, while the baseball team will get one for coming in second.

In Tumwater, new state champion banners will be hung from the central rafter over its court for the baseball and girls track and field teams. Mossyrock will recognize its third-place softball squad, W.F. West the baseball team that walked its way off to third, Toledo its fifth-place boys track team, and others.

In the future, students and visitors to each individual school will see the banners and the walls and recognize the successes of the schools that came back from Bellingham and Yakima and Tacoma with titles and trophies. But everything will be split by school. They’ll see some trends — Adna softball getting its redemption after taking second, Tumwater retaining its baseball title — but only for one school across many years.

When in reality, the story is the opposite: the story of every school from Lewis and South Thurston County across a historically hectic day:

So for posterity, here is everything most of what happened to Chronicle area teams — and a few others — on Saturday, May 27, 2023:

9:55 a.m. (Zaepfel Stadium, Yakima): Mossyrock’s Matt Cooper wins the first individual title available on the day at the 1B/2B/1A state track and field championships, taking first in the 1B boys 800 meters. Teammate Christian Paz Tapia takes fourth for the Vikings.

10 a.m. (Gateway Sports Complex, Yakima): Day 2 of the 2B state softball tournament begins. No. 1 Adna faces No. 4 Ocosta in a rematch of the District 4 title game, which the Wildcats won. In the consolation bracket, No. 6 Pe Ell-Willapa Valley takes on No. 2 Warden in a loser-out game, with both teams hoping to win three games to come out with third place.

11:35 a.m. (Gateway): PWV beats Warden 4-0, extending its season. The Titans would face whoever lost the semifinal between Adna and Ocosta. That game looked to be all Adna early, but as PWV got its final out, Ocosta had trimmed the deficit from 5-0 to 5-3.

12:18 p.m. (Gateway): Adna, which had fallen behind 7-6 in the top of the seventh, comes back with two runs in the bottom of the inning to walk off 8-7 winners over Ocosta, clinching its spot in the championship game.

12:35 p.m. (Gateway): Mossyrock’s 1B loser-out game against DeSales begins with a bang, as Hailey Brooks leads off the top of the first with a home run.

1 p.m. (Joe Martin Stadium, Bellingham): W.F. West, which lost in walk-off fashion to Tumwater on Friday in a 2A state semifinal, gets underway against Selah. 

1:06 p.m. (Zaepfel): A lightning strike close to the stadium puts the 1B/2B/1A track meet into a delay. Four miles away, the softball at Gateway continues on …

1:35 p.m. (Gateway): … But only for half an hour, before impending weather forces all four softball games going on to halt. That includes the 1B game on Field 1, where Almira-Coulee-Hartline was three outs away from run-ruling Sunnyside Christian 12-1, going to the fifth inning.

2:20 p.m. (Gateway): The lightning delay ends, and all four games continue. On Field 3, PWV leads Ocosta 3-2. On Field 2, Mossyrock trails DeSales 4-1

2:27 p.m. (Gateway): Less than 10 minutes after resuming, more lightning forces the games back into delays. On Field 1, ACH was still an out away from beating Sunnyside Christian.

2:56 p.m. (Bellingham): Tied at 4-4 with two outs in the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, W.F. West’s Deacon Meller steals home, trying to score the winning run. He appears to beat the tag and W.F. West spills out of the dugout to celebrate, but the umpire calls him out. In the chaos that follows, multiple W.F. West coaches are ejected.

2:58 p.m. (Gateway): Down to its final frame for an hour and a half now, Sunnyside Christian players find a pine cone, dub it the “rally pine cone,” and insist that everybody kick it or hit it with a bat for good luck.

2:59 p.m. (Bellingham): After multiple minutes of discussion, the umpires reverse their call and declare Meller safe at home. W.F. West beats Selah 5-4 to earn third place in 2A for the second straight year.

3:21 p.m. (Gateway): The second lightning delay of the day ends. ACH immediately gets the final out to beat Sunnyside Christian.

3:35 p.m. (Gateway): PWV gives up two runs to Ocosta in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game at 5-5, sending it to extras. Mossyrock, which had trailed 5-1, rips off six runs in the fifth inning to lead 7-5. Next to both of those games, Adna gets underway against Forks in the 2B state title game.

4:02 p.m. (Gateway): After a scoreless eighth inning, Ocosta scores three in the top of the ninth. PWV answers with two runs of its own but leaves the tying run at third, losing 8-7 to be eliminated.

4:25 p.m. (Gateway): Mossyrock beats DeSales 8-5, with the final out coming after a long umpire discussion. It’s confirmed, and the Vikings make it to the 1B third place game, assured of their first softball trophy in over a decade.

5:29 p.m. (Gateway): Kendall Humphrey makes the final out and Adna blows out Forks 12-3 for the 2B state softball title. Haley Rainey, who pitched Adna to its last championship in 2019, digs up the rubber and gives it to Ava Simms, who earned the win in the circle. Much of the Pirate faithful prepares to drive an hour and a half northeast to Ephrata to watch the Adna baseball team play in its own title game.

5:34 p.m. (Mt. Tahoma High School, Tacoma): Tumwater’s girls track and field team entered the final event of the 2A championships — the 4x400 relay — trailing Sehome by three points. Cassidy Hedin, Ava Jones, Reese Heryford, and Annabelle Clapp win the race by over three seconds in 4:02.4, while Sehome comes in fifth, giving the T-Birds the crown.

6:25 p.m. (Zaepfel): At the small-school meet, Toledo repeats as boys 4x400 champs, ending the area’s track season as Trevin Gale, Jordan Mckenzie, John Rose, Conner Olmstead win with a time of 3:29.08. 

6:43 p.m.: The WIAA announces via Twitter that due to weather conditions in Ephrata, the 2B baseball championship game between Adna and Tri-Cities Prep has been moved to Parker Faller Field in Yakima, and pushed back to 9 p.m. to let the teams make the trip from Ephrata and warm up.

7:06 p.m. (Gateway): Mossyrock caps off a wild 17-12 win over ACH to clinch third in 1B.

7:05 p.m. (Bellingham): Tumwater and Lynden get underway in the 2A baseball championship.

7:21 p.m. (Richland): The 4A state softball championship between and Glacier Peak was in the fifth inning when the storms came to the Tri-Cities at 5:45 p.m. After over an hour and a half, the umpires rule the field unplayable, and the WIAA declares Jackson — which had been winning 5-1 — the state champions, despite not having played a full game. Seriously. (The 1A title game, also in the Tri-Cities,  is pushed to Sunday.)

8:22 p.m. (Rec Park, Wenatchee): The 1B state baseball championship between Naselle and Mount Vernon Christian had been half an inning in before the storm that moved the 2B game to Yakima forced it into a delay. The WIAA moves the game to Wenatchee — 50 miles away — and four hours later, the Comets and Hurricanes resume.

8:54 p.m. (Bellingham): Tumwater wins the 2A baseball championship with a 2-1 win over Lynden on a Brayden Oram walk-off single with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. It’s the second walk-off of the T-Birds of the weekend, and their second title won on a walk-off in as many seasons.

9:26 p.m. (Parker Faller Field, Yakima): Past sundown, Adna and Tri-Cities Prep begin the 2B baseball title game. The Pirate softball team is sitting in the front row with its newly-won trophy.

11 p.m. (Parker Faller): TCP walks off to beat Adna 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh. The second-place finish is the Pirates’ best since they won it all in 2015.

And … scene.

See you all again in August.