SPOKANE – The Jackson Timberwolves have relied heavily on the mighty right arm of pitcher Iyanla DeJesus the last two seasons.
But they have never asked the player they call “Ice” to put in a day like Saturday at the Class 4A state softball tournament.
Rain wiped out all but the first four of Friday’s scheduled games at Dwight Merkel Field, leaving the majority of the field with the prospect of playing at four straight games in one day to win the big trophy.
“I’ve played four games in one day before,” DeJesus said moments after her Timberwolves wrapped up a second straight state title with a 16-2 thrashing of Lake Stevens. “But I have never pitched four games in one day before. I think Adrenalin kicked in in the last game. It just hit me a couple minutes ago that that’s just what I did.”
The championship game, originally scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m., finished after 10 p.m. under the lights just as it began to rain once again.
Lake Stevens scored a run in the bottom of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead, but it was all Jackson from there.
Macy Tarbox lofted a two-run double off the base of the wall down the right field line to put the Timberwolves in front.
“Once we took the lead I just knew we were going to win this game,” DeJesus said.
“We had a meeting (Friday) night and we discussed what we would need to do,” Jackson coach Kyle Peacocke said. “We talked about playing each game one pitch at a time and playing with excitement and with enthusiasm.”
DeJesus said she was hoping one or two of those games would be shortened by the 10-run rule, but that was not to happen.
Camas pushed the Timberwolves to extra innings before falling 4-3 in the 8 a.m. opener. The Papermakers scored more runs against the Timberwolves than any other opponent.
“That is not what you want to have happen when you know you have to play four games,” DeJesus laughed.
Against Tahoma, a 7-2 win, Peacocke managed to get his starter a breather.
“We were able to get 2 2/3 innings out of our other pitcher and I think that helped.
In the semifinals against Redmond, the Jackson starter got a bit of sweet revenge.
“Ice is a very proud player,” her coach explained. “She was the Seattle Times Player of the Year last year as a junior. And she was pretty mad that she wasn’t the Times Player of the Year this year, too. So for her to end the game against Redmond by striking out Kiki Malloy was pretty sweet.”
The tournament opted to cancel the scheduled game to decide third-and fourth-places, instead awarding two third-place trophies.
Redmond rallied to beat Battle Ground to claim one of the third-place trophies. Richland beat Glacier Peak for the second time in the tournament, to earn the other third-place hardware.