SPOKANE – Space can be tight in vehicles transporting Puget Sound fastpitch teams home after the Class 4A state tournament, but the Jefferson Raiders were happy to make room for an extra passenger Saturday.
The Raiders brought home the first state fastpitch trophy in school history by going 3-2 at state and to claim fourth place at the Dwight Merkel Athletic Complex.
“We wanted to be a different team,” senior center fielder Lexi Goranson said, “because TJ’s always come to state and really done nothing.”
Rogers and Tahoma, the two other local teams that survived Friday’s games, were eliminated from the double-elimination tournament when they both lost their first game Saturday.
In the title game, Woodinville capped a 26-0 season with a 6-0 win over defending champion Walla Walla.
Richland 13, Jefferson 3: The Bombers (25-6) cranked out 16 hits in five innings in the game that decided third and fourth place. Crafty little left-hander Paige Goulet scattered six hits to beat the Raiders (27-6) in a game that was called after five innings due to the 10-run rule.
“We hit the ball hard, but it was just right at people,” Raiders coach Chad Fahnlander said.
Jefferson 3, Central Valley 0: The Raiders, not known for strong pitching, clinched a trophy when Katie Jackson threw a six-hit shutout against the team from Spokane Valley.
Walla Walla 8, Jefferson 6: The Raiders trailed 6-0 before Goranson’s two-run double keyed a five-run sixth inning, but costly mistakes prevented Jefferson from stunning the No. 49 team in the national Top 50 of ESPNHS.com. (Woodinville is No. 25.)
Central Valley 9, Rogers 3: Rams shortstop Lana Van Dyken hit a three-run inside-the-park homer in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to carry Rogers (21-9) past the Bears. Van Dyken is headed to North Carolina State.
“I’m proud of every one of my teammates,” Rogers sophomore pitcher Tess Dixon said. “We had seven seniors, and I’m going to miss them dearly.”
Monroe 11, Tahoma 1: A nine-run second inning doomed the Bears in a game called after five innings due to the 10-run rule.
“Coming into this season, we had no goal of making it this far, just because we didn’t know what we were getting into,” said Tahoma senior pitcher Jordan Walley, who will play for Western Washington. “It was a brand-new team; we lost six (2011) seniors.”