Between 200 to 300 fans showed up to support Greater Spokane League champion Rogers at the State AAA fastpitch softball tournament at Franklin Park on Friday, and they were not disappointed.
The Pirates defeated Woodinville 3-2 and Marysville-Pilchuck 1-0 to join Evergreen of Vancouver, Central Kitsap and South Kitsap as the four teams from the field of 16 that still has a chance to win the tournament.
“I think our crowd was a great part of what happened,” Rogers coach Paul Cooley said. “Anytime you’ve got that going for you, it’s not so much what it’s doing to help your team, but what it does to a team that’s traveled 300 miles to come here.”
Traci Moore was a key for Rogers on the mound and at the plate.
Pitching against Woodinville, Moore allowed two runs and eight hits, and also went 2 for 3 at the plate, scoring twice.
Against Marysville-Pilchuck, Moore tossed a two-hitter and drove in the winning run with a two-out double in the fifth inning.
In the first game, Moore got help
from Angie Vulcano, who went 3 for 3 with two RBIs, and Charlotte Perry, who drove in the other run.
Rogers plays Central Kitsap at 8 a.m. today. The Cougars beat Richland 2-1 and Columbia River 4-3.
The Cougars won the state title in 1993 and were second last year.
“Experience is everything,” Cougars coach Bruce Welling said. “They’ve been here before; they’ve been in big ballgames.”
Having defeated Issaquah 6-3 and Juanita 2-0, Evergreen faces South Kitsap, which beat Snohomish 6-2 and Bremerton 5-3, also at 8 a.m.
Evergreen sophomore Tamara DaSilva hit a three-run home run in the Issaquah game and a two-run homer in the win over Juanita. “I got fastballs right down the middle on both of them,” DaSilva said.
South Kitsap had to work hard to hold off Bremerton after Bremerton scored three runs in the seventh and had the tying run at the plate.
“The good plays have been coming all along, but they did make it a little too interesting for my liking,” South Kitsap coach Kathy Ballew said.
Rogers found itself in a similar situation after Woodinville scored two runs in the seventh inning and then had runners on first and second with one out.
“I went out and told them, ‘We have to simply get two more outs,”’ Cooley said. “We cut it pretty close, but we did it.”
The Rogers-Central Kitsap game shapes up to be a pitching duel, with Moore facing Julie Thompson, a senior who no-hit Richland in last year’s state championship.
“She’s very good - not the fastest, but very effective,” Welling said of Thompson, his ace. “People have a hard time hitting her and I hope it stays that way for two more games.”
Cooley is equally confident in Moore’s ability: “She’s had a number of no-hitters, one-hitters and two-hitters and you can live with that.”
The title game is at 1 p.m.