The power surge simply came a touch too late for the Capital fastpitch team.
Peyton Uznanski and Kaitlin Mastin both homered in the sixth inning, and Maddie Lincoln fanned 12 batters, but an early deficit proved to be too much for the Cougars to claw their way out as they lost to Auburn Mountainview, 6-5, in the quarterfinals of the Class 3A District 3/4 fastpitch tournament Friday at Sprinker Recreation Center in Spanaway.
Capital (15-10) will have to navigate through the consolation bracket if the Cougars want to earn one of the district’s six state playoff berths.
“No sense in dwelling. We have to get ready for the next game,” Cougars coach Kelsey Haupert said. “Our ultimate goal is to make it to state. We still have a great chance to do that.”
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Capital will play 3A Narrows League rival Wilson in an elimination game at 9 a.m. Saturday. Wilson ended Shelton’s season by defeating the Highclimbers, 11-9, in the consolation round.
North Thurston (15-10) also suffered a quarterfinals defeat, losing to a powerful Kelso squad, 14-1. The Rams play Sumner at 9 a.m. Saturday.
The winners of the Capital-Wilson and North Thurston-Sumner games face off at 1 p.m. with a state berth on the line in another elimination game.
Capital, which defeated Hazen, 6-1, in the opening round, had the tying run on third base and the winning run on first in the seventh inning against the Lions before Mastin grounded out to short to end the Cougars’ rally, which was started the previous inning when she and Uzanaski each smacked a home run.
“A lot of heart on this team,” Haupert said about her squad’s near comeback after trailing 6-0. “Peyton’s home run got us started, and that was just her second home run this season. While she’s running the bases, Kaitlin’s crying because she’s so happy for her, then goes up and hits her first home run of the season. We have six seniors on this team. None of them want to see the season end.”
Lincoln, who also picked up the win against Hazen, finished with a dozen Ks without walking a batter.
Auburn Mountainview did most of its damage in the second inning when the Lions scored four runs following four consecutive hits.
North Thurston also trailed early against a Hilanders team that could be the class of the tournament after beating their first two opponents a combined 35-2.
Kelso, winner of 18 in a row, including a 21-1 drubbing of Bonney Lake in the first round, had eight players collect an RBI and finished with 15 hits, scoring three runs in the first, six in the third and five in the seventh.
The Rams, who finished with five hits, got their lone run in the third on Dominique Greeno’s RBI single.
“(Kelso’s) a pull-hitting team with a lot of power,” North Thurston coach Pat Dahl said. “They’ve lived by that all season, and we have to pitch around their strength, and we weren’t able to do that.”
North Thurston looked sharp in its first-round matchup, defeating Peninsula, 12-4.
Cierra Davis went 5 for 5 with five RBIs, and Greeno collected three hits and drove in four runs against the Seahawks.
“We had a great first game,” Dahl said. “We got hits batters one through nine. We were a totally different team against Kelso, but I told the girls we’re still two wins away from making it to state. They’ll show up ready to play (Saturday).”
Class 2A District 2/3 Fastpitch Tournament
River Ridge remained in the hunt for the state tournament by defeating Evergreen, 11-1, in the consolation bracket.
The Hawks will play Liberty at 9 a.m. Saturday at Sprinker.
River Ridge rebounded from a tough opening-round loss, losing 11-3 to Port Angeles as the Rough Riders scored eight runs in the bottom of the sixth to break a 3-3 tie and benefited from 10 errors by the Hawks.
Abby Goetsch and Haley Attwood each went 2 for 3 against Port Angeles, and Emily Clark drove in a pair of runs.