High School Sports

State softball primer: Puyallup hoping for second undefeated state-title run in three seasons

toverman@theolympian.com

WIAA FASTPITCH SOFTBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

CLASS 4A

Friday-Saturday, at Merkel Sports Complex (Spokane)

First-round schedule:

Central Valley (16-8) vs. Gig Harbor (18-7), 10 a.m.

Yelm (22-4) vs. Moses Lake (19-1), 10 a.m.

Tahoma (23-1) vs. University (19-4), 10 a.m.

Woodinville (18-4) vs. Jackson (20-3), 10 a.m.

Rogers (Puyallup) (18-4) vs. Redmond (12-11), noon

West Valley (Yakima) (13-9) vs. Puyallup (23-0), noon

Snohomish (19-3) vs. Richland (18-4), noon

Curtis (10-14) vs. Skyline (17-5), noon

Defending champion: Tahoma

The pick: Puyallup

The skinny: For much of the season it appeared Tahoma had the firepower to repeat, but a costly season-ending injury — a torn ACL — to pitcher Carley Nance could trip up the Bears. ... Led by 4A SPSL South co-MVP Emily Ensrud, Puyallup is undefeated and a top contender. The Vikings won the state title two years ago. ... Not to be overlooked is top-seeded Moses Lake, led by league MVP Marnie Skinner. Moses Lake won both the Columbia Basin Big Nine and the District 6 tournament for the fourth year in a row. ... Yelm gets Moses Lake in a first-round matchup. The Tornados, to be successful, need leadoff hitter Ally Choate (.641 on-base percentage) to get them going.

CLASS 3A

Friday-Saturday, at Regional Athletic Complex (Lacey)

First-round schedule:

Eastside Catholic (14-9) vs. Columbia River (16-6), 9 a.m.

Marysville Pilchuck (18-6) vs. Shadle Park (18-3), 9 a.m.

Prairie (13-9) vs. Lake Washington (21-5), 9 a.m.

Bainbridge (14-11) vs. Meadowdale (20-3), 9 a.m.

Everett (18-5) vs. Auburn Mountainview (17-4), noon

Kelso (16-8) vs. Juanita (20-5), noon

Glacier Peak (16-6) vs. Mt. Spokane (17-7), noon

West Seattle (18-7) vs. Enumclaw (18-1), noon

Defending champion: Juanita

The pick: Enumclaw

The skinny: Enumclaw has not lost to two formidable teams in the field — Auburn Mountainview and Kelso. The Hornets’ lone defeat was an 11-0 drubbing to a fully loaded Tahoma, a 4A title contender, in March. ... Winner of 18 of its last 19, defending champion Juanita remains in position to make another run. ... After winning a much improved Greater Spokane League and topping regionals, Shadle Park, behind top pitcher Jaya Allen, is poised for a potential deep run. Allen, a junior and three-year starter, is a part of the same Highlanders group that was upset just short of the state tournament last year.

CLASS 2A

Friday-Saturday, at Carlton Park (Selah)

First-round schedule:

R.A. Long (19-4) vs. White River (12-10), 10 a.m.

Selah (16-7) vs. Cedarcrest (20-3), 10 a.m.

Lynden (18-6) vs. Port Angeles (22-0), 10 a.m.

Sequim (18-5) vs. Othello (20-2), 10 a.m.

Tumwater (15-8) vs. Ellensburg (18-4), noon

Orting (18-5) vs. Fife (20-1), noon

East Valley (Yakima) (18-6) vs. Sedro-Woolley (18-5), noon

Forest Ridge/Bear Creek vs. W.F. West (23-0), noon

Defending champion: W.F. West

The pick: W.F. West

The skinny: Defending champion W.F. West is in the state tournament for the 13th consecutive year. The undefeated Bearcats have won two state titles in the last four seasons and are the favorites again. W.F. West sophomore catcher Kindra Davis is batting .571 with a 1.195 slugging percentage and has 11 home runs — including two grand slams. ... Two-loss Othello could do damage if W.F. West is upset. The Huskies, following a third-place finish in state last season, are the winners of nine in a row and captured the CWAC this year.

CLASS 1A

Friday-Saturday, at Columbia Playfield (Richland)

First-round schedule:

Montesano (16-7) vs. Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) (20-2), 10 a.m.

Bellevue Christian (13-6) vs. Cle Elum/Roslyn (17-4), 10 a.m.

Zillah (9-8) vs. Castle Rock (12-10), 10 a.m.

Colville (19-2) vs. Nooksack Valley (14-9), 10 a.m.

Sultan (13-10) vs. Kiona Benton (16-7), noon

Deer Park (13-8) vs. Seattle Christian (14-4), noon

Chimacum (13-6) vs. Omak (14-7), noon

Lynden Christian (16-6) vs. La Center (23-0), noon

Defending champion: Montesano

The pick: La Center

The skinny: Montesano lost three seniors from the 2015 team that coasted to a 7-1 championship game victory over Hoquiam. But La Center bested Montesano, 6-2, on May 18 and holds a 23-0 record heading into the tournament, making the Wildcats the team to beat. ... Northeast A league winner Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) started the season 1-3, then won the rest of the way, which included a win over defending champion Montesano.

CLASS 2B

Friday-Saturday, at Gateway Sports Complex (Yakima)

First-round schedule:

Brewster (20-3) vs. Kettle Falls (21-5), 9 a.m.

Mary Walker (7-9) vs. Toutle Lake (15-6), 9 a.m.

Concrete (12-7) vs. Kittatas (11-4), 9 a.m.

Onalaska (10-10) vs. DeSales (10-4), 9 a.m.

Pe Ell/Willapa Valley (16-6) vs. Dayton (15-11), 11 a.m.

Colfax (16-8) vs. Warden (23-0), 11 a.m.

Asotin (9-13) vs. Adna (20-1), 11 a.m.

Okanogan (17-7) vs. Friday Harbor (15-5), 11 a.m.

Defending champion: Adna

The pick: Adna

The skinny: The Adna Pirates lost two seniors from the 2015 team that sprinted to a state championship with an average margin of victory of 13.5 runs. But the Warden Cougars are 23-0 out of the Central B League, winning games by an average of 8.3 runs. The two teams could meet in the semifinals. ... Kettle Falls could make noise, after starting the season 2-4, and then winning the rest of the way to finish third in the Northeast 2B League. But Kettle Falls must get by Brewster (20-3) to do so.

CLASS 1B

Friday-Saturday, at Gateway Sports Complex (Yakima)

First-round schedule:

Rainier Christian (8-7) vs. Colton (13-5), 1 p.m.

Almira Coulee Hartline (19-5) vs. Sunnyside Christian (15-6), 1 p.m.

Liberty Christian (8-11) vs. Quilcene (19-2), 1 p.m.

Wishkah Valley (9-1) vs. Pomeroy (12-6), 1 p.m.

Defending champion: Liberty Christian

The pick: Almira Coulee Hartline

The skinny: If Almira Coulee Hartline, the runner-up in last year’s state tournament, is to avenge a 10-2 state final loss to Liberty Christian, it will need to play the Patriots as it has this spring. ACH is 2-0 against the defending champion this season. ... Colton is 2-0 against Pomeroy this season.

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