Sophomore pitcher Maddie Rogers struck out 14 Puyallup batters and beat South Kitsap, as the Titans won twice in the West Central 4A District tournament.
SPANAWAY — Brian Hering calls his young Beamer High School softball team the Bad News Bears. With just one senior in the lineup, games can be an adventure.
But the news was all good Friday as the Titans clinched their first state berth by advancing to the semifinals of the West Central 4A District tournament at Sprinker Recreation Center. After blanking Puyallup in the opening round, 6-0, they edged South Kitsap in the quarterfinals, 3-2.
And Hering wasn’t the least surprised.
“We’re right in the position we thought we would be in,” the coach said.
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Beamer (20-6) plays Camas (18-4) Saturday in the semis. They were among the few fortunate teams to play as scheduled Friday before rain hit, pushing more games to Saturday.
Skyview of Vancouver (15-8) got through to the other semifinal, but unbeaten Emerald Ridge had its quarterfinal game with Kentlake suspended with an 11-0 lead in the top of the fifth. That game will resume at 9 a.m. Saturday, weather permitting, along with the other games that were in progress before the downpour.
The later games Friday are rescheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday and the rest of the Saturday slate pushed back two hours. Tournament manager Mark Swofford said game times would be updated on the West Central District website, http://www.wcd3.org/g_Softball.htm.
Some teams in the 3A and 2A tournaments had first-round byes and didn’t even get a chance to play Friday — including Enumclaw. Kennedy Catholic, once 17-0, was eliminated 12-6 by Timberline despite Sierra Bain’s grand slam.
One of the first-round surprises in 4A was Gig Harbor’s 12-9 victory over Tahoma, which won the SPSL North Division. The Bears really were bad news in that one, committing six errors, but bounced back in a big way to eliminate Kentridge, 18-2. They will play the ER-Kentlake loser Saturday with a state berth on the line.
Beamer got several key efforts Friday, and none bigger than those by sophomore pitcher Maddie Rogers.
“She was clutch all day,” Hering said.
Rogers struck out 14 against Puyallup and worked out of a couple tough situations against SK, which took a 2-1 lead on an error. She also drove in the tying run in the bottom of the sixth. The Titans used their trademark speed to get the game-winner in the seventh. Sophomore Maddy Colson, who had been kicking herself for getting in a rundown earlier in the game after belting a triple, scored from on a grounder to short by Megan Jewett-Chan, sliding under the tag.
Colson was back in the lineup Friday after missing five games with a concussion and homered against Puyallup. Jewett-Chan, a junior shortstop, had a triple and home run in the opener.