Moscow coach Jessica Shawley said the best thing her team has going for it is that it never gives up.
That tenacity earned the third-seeded Bears the 4A Region I softball championship in a 4-3, 10-inning victory over top-seeded tournament host Post Falls on Wednesday. With the title came the coveted automatic berth to the state tournament, May 19-21 at Post Falls High.
PF (15-11) plays No. 2 Lakeland (11-12) at 4 p.m. today at home in a loser-out game. The winner will advance to a play-in game at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Fruitland against the District III third-place team.
Earlier in the day, Moscow (9-14) knocked off Lakeland 8-2 behind a four-hit performance from left-fielder Sarah Hawley. Lakeland then eliminated No. 4 seed Sandpoint 7-1, getting two singles and one double from Melissa Frank. PF opened the day with a 21-0 drubbing of Sandpoint (2-23), pounding out 14 hits, three of which came off the bat of first baseman Erika Willy, who had six RBIs.
In the title game, the Bears only managed four hits off Trojans starter Sean Topp, but they got them at the right times – a feat the Trojans weren’t able to pull off.
Trailing 1-0 after two innings, Moscow picked up a run in the third on center fielder Sara Helbling’s soft RBI single to center.
The Bears took the lead in the fourth on Terah Perkins’ lined sacrifice fly to left.
Helbling again did the damage in the fifth, putting Moscow up 3-1 with a run-scoring single that plated Hawley.
The Trojans made it 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth on a Justine Winn liner to left that scored Lisa Steinbach, who led off with a double. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded and one out, PF was unable to capitalize and the inning ended with Topp’s line drive into the glove of Bears second baseman Megan Mecham.
PF left fielder Haley Roland led off the sixth with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on Felicia McAlpin’s ground ball to shortstop, knotting the game at 3.
After a scoreless seventh, tiebreaker play ensued with each team beginning their at-bat with a runner on second base. PF had its most legitimate chance to win it in the eighth, but again left the bases loaded – a recurring theme in the game as the Trojans left 12 runners on base in all.
Moscow got the game-winning run in the 10th when shortstop Emily Nelson scored from third on a passed ball, sending her teammates into euphoria.
Shawley said her team may not have the most talent in the world, but her players make up for it with hard work and heart.
“From the beginning of the season, we knew that we were going to have to be the type of ball team that wins close games,” Shawley said moments before being doused with a cooler full of ice water. “We aren’t going to dominate or 10-run anyone – we just never let down.
“These girls have been up at 6 a.m. for early-morning workouts this season and this is why – winning a game for the state tournament.”
Trojans coach Jack Foster, whose team has taken some pretty tough losses at the hands of the Bears in recent years, contemplated the possibility of a genuine jinx.
“Last year we lost to them by one run in a regional game,” Foster said. “It’s just getting so old – I’m almost getting used to it.
“We never hit a ball hard after the fifth inning, I don’t think. We did a good job of keeping them from scoring, but we just couldn’t get the big hit when we needed it.”
Tyler Carson ripped a run-scoring double in the bottom of the seventh to lift Lewiston to a 3-2 victory over visiting Coeur d’Alene in the 5A Region I Tournament championship game, earning a berth in the state tournament. Nick Masters scattered four hits and gave up just one earned run in seven innings to get the win. Lewiston claims the No. 1 seed from the north. The Vikings will play the No. 4 seed out of Boise in a state play-in game at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lewiston.
•Sandpoint knocked off top-seeded Moscow 6-4 in the 4A Region I Tournament at Moscow. Sandpoint advances to play at Post Falls at 4 p.m. today for the regional championship. Moscow hosts Lakeland at 4 p.m. in a loser-out game.
Coeur d’Alene’s Tyler Johnson carded a 1-under-par 70 to earn medalist honors and lead the Vikings to the Region I boys tournament championship at the Bryden Canyon Golf course at Lewiston. CdA turned a team score of 300, two strokes ahead of second-place Lewiston. Both the Vikings and Bengals qualified as teams for the state golf tournament. CdA’s Mike Dorosh and Lewiston’s Jordan Mackay and Jordan Howerton all turned in 74s to tie for second place. Lake City finished third at 330 and was shut out of the state tournament.
•Lewiston, led by Lisa Cannon’s tournament-low 81, won the Region I girls tournament at Bryden Canyon. The Bengals turned in a team score of 369, 20 strokes better than second-place Coeur d’Alene. Both teams qualified for the state tournament. The Vikings were led by Vanessa Borsheim, who carded a 91. Lake City was third with a 450.
The Wallace boys captured the title at the 2A District I-II tournament Tuesday at Shoshone Golf Club near Wallace. Wallace shot 368. Clark Fork also qualified for state, finishing second with 372. Wallace shot 477 and advance to state as the lone girls team to field a complete team. Nate Allen of Clark Fork was the boys medalist with a 10-over 82. Brack Adkins of Post Falls Christian qualified for state with a 91. Cara Hayman of Wallace was the girls medalist with a 16-over 90. Sophie Salamina of PFC qualified for state with a 108.
Washington girls tennis
Lewis and Clark clinched its second straight Greater Spokane League championship, defeating visiting Ferris 4-3 at Hart Field. The Tigers’ No. 1 singles player, Elise Otto, downed Heather Handwerk 6-3, 6-0. LC’s No. 1 doubles team of Natalie Cholaj and Leslie Griffith topped the Saxons’ Kelsey McLauchin and Kelly Mays 6-4, 6-3. No. 2 singles player Anna Gullickson and the No. 3 doubles team of Allison Lindsay and Lyndi Seidensticker completed the victory for LC.
Washington boys soccer
Kyle Yonago scored twice and added an assist to help Ferris (12-4) to a 4-1 victory over University (8-7) in a loser-out match in the District 8 4A playoffs at Spokane Falls Community College. Tom Giardino scored 6 minutes into the game and the Saxons took a 2-0 lead at intermission. The Titans’ Keith Realing cut that lead in half midway through the second half. Ferris plays Mead at 5 p.m. Friday in a loser-our match at SFCC. … Mead’s Panthers (10-6) remained alive behind goals by Ian Matson and Brian Underhill, taking a 2-1 victory over Shadle Park at SFCC. Andy Largent scored with 4 minutes left for the Highlanders (10-5).
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