Enumclaw High School is the Class 3A West Central District fastpitch champion for the third consecutive year — and the Hornets did it in walk-off fashion.
Enumclaw (22-1) scored three runs on one play in the bottom of the seventh inning to squeak past Kelso, 3-2, on Saturday at Sprinker Recreation Center.
“The adrenaline was pumping on that one,” Chloe Young said. “That was one of the most intense innings I’ve played in a long time.”
Trailing 2-0 in the seventh, Hailey Roberts hit a leadoff single to center. Tammy Wilkening then bunted for a base hit to move Roberts to second.
That brought up Young.
“Chloe’s clutch, she’s (been) clutch all year long,” Enumclaw coach Mike Eckhart said.
Young singled to right center, and Roberts was safe at home on a dropped ball by Kelso catcher Nariah Morgan. The ball trickled away from the plate, and Wilkening slid in safely as Kelso pitcher Kady Bruce dropped the relay from Morgan.
Bruce then tried to pick off Young at third but threw the ball into left field, allowing Young to come home for the win.
“I saw the size of Chloe’s eyes when she rounded third,” pitcher Quinn Breidenbach said. “They were the size of pingpong balls.”
Kelso (19-3) scored its only two runs in the top of the sixth, when Bruce took Breidenbach deep to center for a two-run home run. It was the second home run Breidenbach has given up this season.
The Hornets take the No. 1 WCD seed into the 3A state tournament, which begins Friday at Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey.
“We’re not done, that’s our whole thing,” White River coach Brandon Walker said.
The Hornets scored twice in the first inning, and never let go of the lead. Orting cut its deficit to one in the top of the third, but the Hornets answered with three more in the bottom of the inning.
Hornets ace Kayla Smith improved to 14-1 with the win.
The 2A state tournament begins Friday at Carlon Park in Selah.