LACEY — Lake Washington’s senior ace Tess Bumiller kept opponents off the scoreboard, giving up just four earned runs across 18 innings as the Kangaroos marched though Auburn Riverside, Arlington and Roosevelt on their way to the championship game of the Class 3A state softball tournament Saturday at the Regional Athletic Complex.
Once there, she held top-seeded Walla Walla scoreless until the fifth inning, when the Blue Devils followed a five-run Kang top of the inning with two runs.
When Bumiller tired with the first-place trophy in sight, Lake Washington’s hitters, young and old, picked her up, rallying for five runs in top of the fifth and erupting for nine more in the seventh to hold off the Blue Devils 14-8.
“Our seniors gave us the energy to pick it up,” freshman first baseman Shriya Thakur said. “We all knew we could win and we did.”
It was the first state title for Lake Washington (24-2) since they won the Class 2A crown in 2014 with first-year coach JoDee Hull’s daughter and current assistant coach Kylisa Hull in the lineup.
Senior leadoff hitter Addie Sapirstein crossed the plate during both big innings on her way to a 3-for-5, four-RBI game. Her sister Rachel, another senior, drove in a pair of runs. Inspired by the upperclassmen, two young players hammered the ball as well.
With the Kangs already up 10-3 in the seventh, Thakur — who had scored three runs and drove in three more during Lake Washington’s 9-1 semifinal victory over Roosevelt earlier in the day — crushed a three-run homer to left.
“The pitch was up and out. I thought some one was going to catch it, then I saw that’s gone,” said Thakur, who believed her team’s strong hitting against Roosevelt carried over into the championship game.
Shortstop Christina Minor, a sophomore, followed with a solo bomb to center that seemed to put the game out of reach. Minor, who had homered only once through regular season and district play, homered in every game at state.
“One on every field here,” Hull said of the four used by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association at the RAC.
But Walla Walla didn’t get its No. 1 seed by rolling over.
The Devils (22-2) made things tense with a five-run rally of their own in the bottom of the seventh. With two runners still on base and only one out, Bumiller regained her form long enough to get Anna Delarosa looking and Kylie Kemp on a fielder’s choice to end it.
“We had some nerves and had to settle down. Our pitcher was tired,” Hull said. “Tess has been a workhorse all year.”
Hull praised her veterans but is also looking forward with the Kangs’ strong group of young players.
“Our seniors were an incredible group of ladies. They’ve really imparted a legacy for our underclassmen, and they’ve been lifting them up all year long,” she said. “They’re learning from the best.”
“It feels awesome to be a freshman on this team with our seniors,” she said. “Now we’ve got three more years to get back here and three more years to win.”
Redmond wins 4A title
The Redmond Mustangs won the Class 3A state softball title in 2017. Now they can add a Class 4A state title to the trophy case after beating Skyview of Vancouver 7-6 in the title game in Spokane.
Tia Milloy, the daughter of former Husky standout Lawyer Milloy, continued the family softball tradition with a two-out double in the seventh inning to score the winning run. Kiki Milloy was a key player for the Mustangs the last time they won the state title.
The Mustangs made deep runs between the titles. In 2018, they took fourth. In 2019, after moving up to 4A, they took third.