They call themselves the bomb squad, and the Mount Si Wildcats played like one in the Sea-King 3A District softball tournament this week at Lower Woodland Park.
The final explosion was a 13-3, five-inning victory over Juanita Thursday that gave them their first district title since 2004 — the year they reached the state championship game.
In their three tournament games, the Wildcats (19-6) amassed 39 runs on 43 hits. They pounded Bainbridge 16-9 in the semifinals and head to state with a full head of steam, winning 12 of their past 13 contests.
“You can enjoy being district champs all weekend,” assistant coach Brian Tawney told the players afterward. “Come Monday, you’re four wins away from being state champs.”
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And head coach Larry White, in his 14th season, is now just one shy of his 200th victory — many of those coming with this group of six seniors.
“Five of the six have started every game for me,” he said.
Juanita (16-8), which beat Holy Names 4-1 in the other semifinal, had won five straight district titles and seemed primed for a sixth after jumping to an early 2-0 lead. Then came Mount Si’s seven-run outburst in the fourth inning, followed by a six spot in the fifth.
Rachael Picchena started the last rally with a solo home run, her fourth of the season.
The Rebels hurt themselves with four errors.
“We just kind of fell apart,” coach Traci Odegard said. “But hats off to them.”
The Wildcats got a solid pitching performance from freshman Clair Lis, who scattered six hits.
All four semifinal teams were assured of state berths. Bainbridge (17-6) bounced back to beat Holy Names in the game for third and fourth places, 9-3. The Cougars (19-6) had beaten the Spartans three times this season.
The fifth and final state berth went to Liberty of Issaquah (12-12), which pounded West Seattle in the consolation final, 10-1. Coach Zach Bartholomew said the Patriots are peaking at the right time.
“We started a little slow, but we got a lot better and it’s all about the road to here,” he said.