Tumwater High softball coach Clay Hill had a feeling something like this could happen at the state championships.
And he was right – 2A Evergreen Conference schools are busting the brackets in Selah.
With wins over Cheney (12-2) and Granite Falls (8-1) on Friday, Tumwater is in the 2A semifinals for the first time since 2009.
The Thunderbirds (22-2) play host Selah (24-2) today at 10 a.m. – with EvCo rivals Aberdeen and W.F. West (20-3) playing in the other semifinal.
“Not being arrogant, I am not surprised this year,” Hill said.
“I chatted a little bit with Mike Keen (W.F. West coach) at districts, and it was a chuckle. He said, ‘We might see you at the end of next week.’ ”
Fast starts propelled the Thunderbirds in both games. They scored five first-inning runs against Cheney, then came back and started with three runs against Granite Falls.
The oddity of their first-inning runs in the quarterfinals was scoring twice on Kiersten Smith’s sacrifice fly to deep right center. Gabby Vidallion scored on the play from second base to give Tumwater a 3-0 lead.
“Gabby is that type of player, and she is having a great tourney (7-for-8 at the plate),” Hill said. “She has a way of making things happen.”
The surprise Friday was the exit of SPSL 2A champion Franklin Pierce, the West Central District runner-up to Interlake.
The Cardinals were defeated by W.F. West, 12-2, in the quarterfinals, then were upended by Fife – a team they swept in the regular season - in a loser-out game, 6-2.
In 1A action in Richland, Orting went two-and-out, losing 19-1 to Cascade of Leavenworth in its opener, and 8-4 to Lynden Christian in the consolation game.