LACEY — Enumclaw’s pursuit of perfection came up short against Kamiakin’s quest to make history Saturday in the Class 3A state softball tournament at the Regional Athletic Complex.
The Braves from Kennewick rallied for a 4-2 victory to become the first team to capture three consecutive championships, handing the Hornets their only loss of the season.
To senior Melanie Oord, a four-year starter who gave Kamiakin a 3-2 lead with a two-run double in the fifth, there’s no question which of the titles means the most.
“It makes it even more special to do it with this group of girls,” she said. “We’re all like a family. And then also it had never been done, so that was awesome, too.”
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Kamiakin (24-2), which had averaged 11 runs and 14 hits a game in the tournament, proved it could win with pitching and defense, too.
“I just can’t say enough about our kids,” coach Tim Bisson said.
Especially freshman hurler Emiley Moore, who spent the majority of the season on the junior varsity and wound up pitching every inning at state.
“To be a freshman and come out and be in this game situation with this intensity, I can’t say enough about her,” Bisson said. “She’s grown leaps and bounds since we walked through that gate two days ago.”
Enumclaw (28-1) jumped up 2-0 early, but couldn’t add on and sophomore ace Quinn Breidenbach wasn’t able to keep the Braves at bay, allowing eight hits. She took the loss personally.
“I’m really sad for the seniors,” a tearful Breidenbach said. “We really wanted to win this for them. That’s the hardest part. I tried my best and I guess I’ve just got to work harder and come back and win the state title next year.”
Catcher Becky Forza, one of those four seniors, was in tears afterward, too. But she still left the field full of pride.
“Win, lose or draw, these girls are my sisters and I’ll love them forever,” she said. “This is definitely the best team I’ve ever played for. We gave it our all.”
Enumclaw 4, Glacier Peak 3
Madelyn Carlson’s solo home run gave the Hornets a 3-0 lead in the fourth, but Glacier Peak didn’t go down quietly. It was 3-2, then 4-2 when Aurora Ellison bashed a rare home run off Breidenbach to cut it to 4-3 in the sixth and the Grizzlies left the tying run at third as the game ended.
Kamiakin 13, Shadle Park 3
The Braves put up a five-spot in the top of the first and never looked back. Hunter Schneitter went 3 for 4 with a home run.
Shadle Park 4, Prairie 3
Freshman Jaya Allen doubled home the winning run in the top of the seventh inning to give the Highlanders from Spokane (20-10) their best finish since 2006, when they were second in the 4A tournament — to Prairie.
Prairie (17-14) reached the trophy game with a gut-wrenching, 10-9 win over Glacier Peak in 10 innings. The Grizzlies (17-10), who once led 7-1, wound up tied for fifth in their first state appearance. Both tournament losses were by one run, and they were the team that dumped Prairie into the consolation bracket with an eight-inning, 5-4 victory in the opening round.
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