Ronnie Ladines struck out 15 and had three hits, leading the Eagles to the school's first fastpitch championship with a 2-1 win over Camas.
SPOKANE — Arlington senior pitcher Ronnie Ladines turned 18 Saturday and she didn’t get shortchanged on presents.
Ladines had three hits, struck out 15 — giving her 55 in four Class 4A state softball tournament games — and helped the Eagles edge Camas 2-1 for the championship at the Merkel Sports Complex.
“This is the best birthday present I could ever ask for,” said Ladines, who allowed just one run in Arlington’s four tournament wins.
The Eagles (23-3) earned their first fastpitch title. They won slowpitch titles in 1984 and 1986.
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“She stood out as the senior captain,” coach Dan Eng said. “As you could tell, she was getting tired but she was changing her speeds and hitting all her locations. She’s a real fighter.”
Arlington advanced to the championship with a 6-0 semifinal win over Richland while Camas blanked defending champion Woodinville 2-0.
Tahoma, which lost to Richland in its opener Friday, won five straight games, including a 7-4 win in eight innings over Woodinville in the third-place game on senior Bre West’s walkoff three-run homer. Tahoma also defeated Richland 4-2 earlier Saturday.
Woodinville (24-3) eliminated Newport 13-2 in six innings before falling to Tahoma.
In the title game, Hayley Fields led off with a double and one out later Ladines lined a double, putting Arlington on top 1-0 in the first. The Papermakers changed pitchers, inserting Harli Hubbard for Katie Schroeder after Ladines’ double.
Camas (22-6) tied it in the third on Lena Richards’ RBI triple, but it could have been much worse for Arlington. Richards was called out for missing second base for the first out of the inning and Ladines escaped further damage, despite giving up a double to Erin Tauscher.
“All of our players are assigned certain things and Amy Revell was in the dugout watching the runner,” Eng said. “She saw the runner missed second and alerted us.”
In the fourth, Schroeder hit a high drive to left-center leading off. Arlington center fielder Marisa Rathert caught the ball and simultaneously ran through the portable fence, keeping the score tied at 1.
“That was a game-changer,” said the Kent State-bound Ladines. “We wanted to win so bad after that catch.”
Katelyn McDonald walked with one out in the fifth and took third on another Ladines’ double. Lynsey Amundson hit a hard grounder that appeared to be going into right field. Richards made a diving stop and got the out at first, but the run scored and Arlington led 2-1.
Ladines took care of the rest, retiring nine of the last 10, seven by strikeout.
Camas 2, Woodinville 0
Woodinville pitcher Madi Schreyer fanned the first six batters before the Papermakers started putting together quality at-bats. Richards tripled down the left-field line and scored on Mackenzie Farnham’s sacrifice fly to put Camas up 1-0 in the fourth.
Hubbard, who has verbally committed to North Carolina State, escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third by striking out Alex Boyd. Camas added an insurance run in the seventh for Hubbard, who gave up two hits, walked four and struck out 12.
“We were probably pressing a little too much,” Woodinville coach Dani Weir said. “We just needed to relax and trust our abilities.”
Arlington 6, Richland 0
Katelynn Kazen, Kaylyn Myers, Fields, McDonald and Ladines each had two hits and Ladines tossed her third shutout of the tournament. She allowed six hits and struck out 17. Kazen hit a two-run double in the first and Arlington added three runs in the second. Ladines drilled a solo homer in the fifth. McDonald scored twice and drove in one run.