The story is well-known: Redmond High School defeated Yelm to win last season’s Class 3A state softball title.
Friday at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey, the Mustangs ended the Tornados’ title hopes again, knocking them out of the winner’s bracket with a first round defeat.
But, Saturday, after Yelm (29-3) won four loser-out games over Stadium, Garfield, Bainbridge and Mount Spokane, the Tornados held off a late Redmond rally to finally oust their nemesis, 6-5, to claim third place.
“It’s very rewarding,” Yelm coach Lindsay Walton said. “It’s hard to lose that first one and make it back to where we did.”
After being shut out by Redmond, 3-0, in the opener on Friday, Yelm found more offense as the tournament unfolded.
“Our bats showed up a little more today,” Walton said. “We had to have heart, the kids had to want it.
“You lose that first one, it’s easy to get down and out. We had a lot of determination to pull together and keep winning.”
In the third-place game, Whitworth University commit and ace pitcher Drea Schwaier — making her fifth start in Yelm’s six tournament games — also drove in the first run to put the Tornados ahead in the top of the first.
Later, Tayelyn Cutler drove in two runs on a single and Sage Ferrell brought around two more with a double, giving Yelm as much as a three-run lead in the contest, before holding off the Mustangs’ rally.
The Tornados opened the morning with a 5-1 victory over Bainbridge paced by Calli Jesmer’s fifth-inning home run and three RBI.
Ferrell doubled and finished 2 for 3. Schwaier scattered four hits and struck out nine.
In a 3-2 victory over Mount Spokane, Schwaier again put the Tornados up early with a two-run single in the third inning.
Jesmer belted another home run in the fourth to provide what turned out to be the winning run.
CLASS 2A SOFTBALL
W.F. West 17, Selah 3: The Bearcats couldn’t defend their state title at Carlon Park in Selah, but rallied Saturday afternoon for a third-place trophy.
Paytton Crawford launched a two-run homer to center as a part of a six-run first inning for W.F. West, and the Bearcats built from there.
W.F. West (24-4) added eight more runs in the fourth, and three in the fifth to end the game by mercy rule. Six players recorded multiple hits for the Bearcats.
Ashlyn Whalen and Annika Waring each finished 3 for 4, while Waring had three RBI.
Pitcher Ashlee Vadala pitched a complete game, striking out five batters.
The Bearcats won 2A Evergreen Conference and 2A Southwest District titles for the fourth consecutive season earlier this month, and bring home their third state trophy in three years.
CLASS 2A BASEBALL
W.F. West 12, West Valley of Spokane 0: After seeing their title hopes dashed two years in a row by Ellensburg, the Bearcats unloaded on the Eagles, earning a third-place title at County Stadium in Yakima.
Washington State University commit Tyson Guerrero threw a no-hitter while striking out 12.
The Bearcats (23-3) rolled off seven hits on West Valley starter Jaxson Imada, building a 6-0 lead in the first two innings, and continued to pour on runs — and recorded 13 hits — ending the game by mercy rule after five.
Lane Douglass was 4 for 4 with two RBI for the Bearcats, while Dakota Hawkins was 3 for 4 with three RBI. Brock Jones was 2-for-4 with three RBI.
W.F. West wrapped up its season with its seventh state trophy in program history — and third in the past six years.
The Bearcats won an undefeated 2A Evergreen Conference title and their third consecutive Southwest District championship this season.
Staff writer Lauren Smith contributed to this report.