Prep softball: Two-out magic lifts Bearcats to statement win over T-Birds


Lilly Camp. Annika Hollingsworth. Ella Ferguson times two.

It has been a murderers row of pitchers that the W.F. West High School softball team has faced this spring. All three are Division I recruits and feature plenty of zip on their pitches.

“Seeing those girls before and seeing Ella all throwing fast helped a lot,” Bearcats starting pitcher Taylor Tobin said.

W.F. West has had a fair share of success against those throwers, but none more than Monday night against Ferguson.

Behind a 4-for-4 day from Staysha Fluetsch and a complete game shutout from Tobin, the Bearcats put out a statement 8-0 triumph over Tumwater in an Evergreen Conference showdown at Recreation Park.

The two rivals are now tied for first in the standings, but the T-Birds have the tiebreaker if needed based on a 7-6 win in the non-league game last week.

“Girls were just dialed in,” W.F. West head coach Kevin Zylstra said. “The confidence factor is huge. They knew they were hitting well in the cage and they knew they could hit her well, too.”

In the two games against Aberdeen, the Bearcats got runners on base via three walks versus Camp, but were left without a hit. Then in the non-league contest, they faced Hollingsworth and won 3-2 by notching eight hits.

When W.F. West went toe-to-toe with Ferguson a month ago, it registered seven hits to just one run.

Monday was a much different story.

All eight of the tallies came with two outs and the Bearcats finished with 11 total hits. Avalon Myers went 3-for-4 at the plate while Kenley Fragner and Tobin each had two hits out of the Nos. 8 and 9 holes in the lineup.

“We did a lot of hitting practices,” Tobin said.

Fluetsch lifted a three-run home run in the bottom of the third. The floodgates opened in the fourth that stayed alive on an outfield error by Tumwater. The Bearcats loaded the bases and two runs scored on wild pitches.

Myers ripped an RBI single and Fluetsch added another RBI base hit and the final run scored on another error.

“That’s pretty impressive,” Tobin said. “We were hitting off her and it was awesome.”

Tobin, a freshman, dazzled in the circle with seven strikeouts and four hits allowed. She has established herself as one of the top pitchers in the league.

It wasn’t until the seventh inning when the Thunderbirds got a baserunner in scoring position.

“I knew she had potential to be pretty good,” Zylstra. “She’s trusting me a lot more in how I call the pitches and she’s freed her mind. She is so poised for a young pitcher and I’m excited for her future.”

Tumwater head coach Ashley Lupinski was far from pleased with the approaches at the plate.

“Umpire wasn’t giving anything up and we continued to go up to the plate and swinging at the up ball,” Lupinski said. “Not our day. You got to tip your cap.”

With the district tournament approaching, the Bearcats still have five of their final six games as league matchups. They are a game up on Aberdeen and two games ahead of Centralia, who they meet on Wednesday in the Swamp Cup.

“They’re going to come out with nothing to lose,” Zylstra said. “We just have to reply.”

Tumwater faces Shelton on Wednesday in a game Lupinski hopes her group can get off the “rollercoaster” she feels they’ve been on all year.

“One day we’re great, the next we’re not,” Lupinski said. “Whether it is our mental approach (or) physical approach, consistency is key.”