The Gig Harbor High softball team finally got the Yelm monkey off its back.
The Tides had dropped both regular season games to the Tornados, who went on to win the Narrows 4A regular season title. But in the Narrows 4A tournament, it was Gig Harbor (15-7) which got the better of Yelm (19-3).
The Tides cruised to a 10-2 victory Friday in Lacey to wrap up the Narrows 4A tournament title.
Senior Abbie Hutton dazzled for the Tides, dominating on the mound and hitting a two-run home run for the Tides in the fifth inning.
“They struggled with her change-up,” said Gig Harbor coach Kara Dressel. “We had a good scout on them. Once they let us open it up, we had the momentum.”
Yelm’s pitcher struggled with her command early in the game, hitting Gig Harbor leadoff hitter Tessa Waage in the head on the first at-bat of the game. Things spiraled from there.
“She couldn’t find the strike zone, which gave us momentum,” Dressel said. “We practiced the ‘up ball.’ We were prepared for her. She really just left the door open. She started throwing strikes in the second inning, but we started getting to her.”
Knocking off the regular season league champions is a good sign, according to Dressel. She hopes the Tides are peaking at the right time.
“It was a huge boost,” she said. “That’s what I always stress. We’ve won the league playoffs the last three years. We just get hot this time of year. Our bats are hot. We just need to play a clean game.”
Gig Harbor will face Emerald Ridge in the opening round of the West Central District III tournament at 4:30 p.m. Friday (May 20) at the Kent Service Club Ballfields. Gig Harbor already played Emerald Ridge earlier in the year, winning decisively, 12-2.
“We can’t look past them,” Dressel said. “They have some decent hitters. We know them. We have to play clean defense.”
If Gig Harbor wins, it will face the winner of Federal Way versus Kentlake.