It was a tough go for the local high school softball teams at the West Central District tournament this year. All five local teams were eliminated from postseason play, ending any chance for another championship brought back to the area.
Class 4A at Kent Service Ballfields
Puyallup High’s 7-3 loss at the hands of Todd Beamer on Saturday likely hurts the most out of all the teams that were eliminated over the weekend. As the defending 4A state champions, the Vikings were favorites heading into the West Central District softball tournament.
“We had some tough teams on our bracket ... Beamer’s pitcher was a senior and she’s pitched at state, so it was a tough matchup,” Puyallup coach Tony Batinovich said.
Puyallup (17-8) first fought off Kentridge with a 4-0 win Friday behind tough defense and key at-bats. With Puyallup leading 1-0, freshman Sophia Bjerk hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fourth that quieted the Charger bench.
“I don’t feel like a freshman … the team doesn’t treat me like one,” Bjerk said. “I just try to help when I can.”
After Olympia picked up a 5-3 win over Puyallup to end day one of the tournament, it left the Vikings in a single-elimination situation heading into Saturday.
Puyallup opened the trip in the consolation bracket eliminating city rival Rogers in a slugfest, 12-8, before heading into a No. 6-seeded matchup with Beamer.
“That West Central District is tough, as six really good teams are heading to state — there could be a seventh team just as deserving,” Batinovich said. “I told the girls that if this loss bothers you 24 hours from now, then good, you’re an athlete. But if this bothers you a week from now, that’s the athlete I want to coach. We’ll be back to Spokane.”
Emerald Ridge (10-13) and Rogers (15-10) were unlucky in Kent as well; both teams faced tough games in the first round.
“(Yelm players) are fast and they used their speed early to force us to make plays,” Emerald Ridge interim coach Melanie Stoehr said.
The speed of Yelm (17-10) was too much for Emerald Ridge on Friday, as the Jaguars comeback was halted with a 7-5 loss. Emerald Ridge closed out day one by eliminating Bellarmine Prep, 6-2, before being halted by Gig Harbor, 13-9, on Saturday.
Turnaround was fair play for Rogers — a week after the Rams put a hurting at the SPSL tournament, South Kitsap gave Rogers a taste of that offensive firepower. The Wolves came away with a 20-3 first-round win.
Rogers recuperated in its next matchup, picking up 12-7 win over Kentlake before being eliminated by Puyallup.
Class 3A at Sprinker Fields
Both Sumner (7-13) and Bonney Lake (8-12) had a rude welcome in the first round of the 3A WCD softball tournament. Kelso (19-3) pounded out a 21-1 win over Bonney Lake, while Central Kitsap handed Sumner a 12-0 shutout.
Bonney Lake couldn’t stave off elimination against Peninsula as the Seahawks picked up a 18-6 victory over their league foes.
Sumner had better results as the Spartans outlasted Kennedy Catholic, 18-17, to give them another shot on Saturday. In the morning game, North Thurston ended Sumner’s season, picking up a 16-4 win.