Talk about a team of destiny.
The North Central Indians are that and more after winning three of four games on Saturday at the 3A regional softball tournament at Hanford High School in Richland to earn the No. 2 seed to the state tournament – joining tourney champion Shadle Park to give the Greater Spokane League two state qualifiers.
The Indians (12-13) began the day with a 4-3 victory over Mt. Spokane (13-10) – coming from behind twice. NC scored the winning run in the top of the seventh when Karasa Wise led off with a double, was bunted to third, and scored on a single by Kilee Brown.
NC fell to the Hanford Falcons in the second game 3-0, but bounced back to rout the East Valley Knights (11-14) 11-1 and then turned the tables on the Falcons with a 3-0 victory. Sophomore left-hander Echo Barline pitched all four games for the Indians.
Shadle Park (18-5) won a laugher and a nail-biter to earn the No. 1 seed.
The Highlanders opened with a 13-3 win over East Valley. Amber Johnson drove in three runs with a pair of hits as Shadle scored six runs in the fourth inning and seven more in the fifth to 10-run the Knights.
Shadle was rolling along against Hanford in its next game – taking an 11-5 lead into the bottom of the seventh and then narrowly avoiding disaster. The Falcons pushed across five runs before right fielder Kali Reid threw a runner out at first to end the game with the tying run on second base. Reid had four assists to first base in the game. Danielle Lynn scored four runs for the Highlanders, while Megan Skillingstad had three hits and two RBIs.
In an earlier game, East Valley edged West Valley of Yakima 1-0 in a loser-out contest.
It was a dismal day for the Greater Spokane League teams at the regional tourney in Yakima. It was one-and-done for Lewis and Clark (8-17) after falling to Kamiakin 7-0. Central Valley (20-3) fared a little better – knocking off Richland 2-0 in its first game of the day before falling to Eastmont 7-1 in a loser-out.
Allison Holst tossed a complete-game five-hitter, striking out seven along the way, to help the Colville Indians beat the Pullman Greyhounds 5-1 in the championship game of the District 7 tournament at University High School.
Amanda Hamilton went 2 for 3 and drove in a run for the second-seeded Indians (19-3), who earned the top seed to the state tourney at Carlon Park in Selah on Friday and Saturday.
Top-seeded Pullman (18-4) bounced back to beat West Valley 7-0 to earn the second seed to state. Pullman’s Erica Hanson allowed just one hit while striking out 14. She also went 2 for 3 with a home run and four RBIs.
In earlier games, Cheney (7-15) eliminated Deer Park (9-14) 8-5 on Gracie Pitts’ walk-off grand slam in the seventh inning. West Valley (15.8) blanked Clarkston (11-11) 2-0 in a loser-out game on the strength of Candice Boyd’s two-run first-inning double and a three-hit, 13-strikeout performance from pitcher Rachel Meagley. West Valley ousted Cheney 3-2 in eight innings with Gabby Espidola driving in the winning run.
Lakeside (18-4) rallied late to earn the No. 2 seed to state with a 4-2 victory over Omak at the District 6/7 regional in Brewster.
The Eagles trailed 2-0 heading into the top of the seventh, but Heather Hesselgesser ripped a two-out double to knot the score and send it to extra innings. In the eighth, Nicole Jurek and Michaela Brittos hit back-to-back run-scoring doubles to complete the comeback victory.
Vanessa Ahrendt picked up the win for the Eagles. She went the distance and allowed just one earned run on five hits with three strikeouts. She also doubled twice in four at-bats.
Jamie Brunner homered and drove in four runs to lead Chelan to a 7-0 win over Freeman (12-10) in a loser-out game to decide the fourth seed to state.
Rachel Eng tossed a complete-game four-hitter with eight strikeouts and added a run-scoring single to lead the Colfax Bulldogs (19-4) to a 6-3 victory over the Davenport Gorillas (17-4) in the District 7 title game in Medical Lake to decide the top two seeds to the state tournament.
Christa Nyholm’s RBI double in the fourth inning snapped a 2-2 tie for Colfax, which heads to state on Friday and Saturday at the Gateway Sports Complex in Yakima as the top seed.
Selkirk won a pair of loser-out games to grab the third state berth. The Rangers (23-4) rode Audre Reeve’s complete-game four-hitter to a 3-1 win over Lind-Ritzville (14-7) in the opener. Selkirk used a 10-run first inning to roll to a 16-6 win over Reardan (14-10) in the second game to qualify for state. Courtney Holter had a pair of home runs and four RBIs for Selkirk.
In an earlier game, Reardan (15-10) eliminated Springdale (17-6) 8-7 – scoring twice in the top of the seventh to pull out the win.
Jordan Signor fired a complete-game one-hitter and Donna Villegas drove in three runs to power the Inchelium Hornets (17-7) to a 10-0 victory over the Almira/Coulee-Hartline Warriors (15-7) in a District 7 game at Kettle Falls to decide the top two seeds to state.
St. Michael’s (15-7) earned the third and final state berth by scoring seven runs in the top of the seventh inning to beat Cusick (15-8) 12-8 in a loser-out game.
In an earlier game, ACH jumped out to a four-run first-inning lead and survived Cusick’s four-run seventh for a 9-5 victory.
The state tourney runs Friday and Saturday at the Gateway Sports Complex in Yakima.
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