SELAH, Wash. – West Valley’s quest for its first softball state trophy hit a speed bump Friday at Carlon Park, but the Eagles regrouped and powered their way past an old adversary to advance to Saturday’s consolation round.
The Eagles knocked rival Cheney out of the consolation bracket in a late game Friday, 6-5, at the State 2A tournament.
The Eagles will play Fife this morning at 10 to try and stay alive in the third-place bracket.
The win was West Valley’s sixth this season over Cheney. Cheney finished the season 21-8, including a 15-3 mark in league.
After handling Sequim easily in the opener, West Valley’s high-powered score-runs-in-bunches winning streak came to a abrupt end in a 2-1 loss to Aberdeen out of the powerhouse Southwest 2A district.
Bobcats pitcher Mo Donovan kept West Valley off balance and off the scoreboard for the final five innings, and the Eagles didn’t help their cause, running themselves out of the third, fifth and seventh innings.
“Their center fielder (Stephanie Boone) really changed the game,” West Valley coach Paul Cooley said. “She made three or four plays that really shut us down.”
Eagles pitcher Kelli Peckham was equally effective.
After giving up two runs in the first inning, the gritty senior allowed just one hit and one walk the rest of the way.
Trailing in the bottom of the seventh and leading off, Peckham drew a walk and yielded to courtesy runner Megan Fouts.
Fouts advanced to second on a textbook sacrifice bunt but the game ended on a stunning double play.
Brooklyn Robinson’s liner to left field was snared by Stephanie Kaufmann who threw to third base to nail Fouts trying to advance.
Cheney meanwhile, withstood a relentless White River team in the consolation quarterfinals, 9-5, to advance to the team’s sixth meeting of the season.
The Blackhawks took an 8-2 lead after two innings but the Hornets added single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings and could have scored more.
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