LYNDEN - After suffering one of the most disheartening possible last-inning developments, Lynden's softball players held their heads up and cheered louder than ever.
Then the Lions really had something to shout about as they clinched their third consecutive Class 2A state tournament berth.
In a winner-to-state semifinal game at the Class 2A District 1/2 Tournament, junior second baseman Trisha Snydar singled home the winning run to beat Sedro-Woolley 5-4, capping a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh before a large crowd on Wednesday, May 15, at Bender Fields.
Kalia Chu-Greenough hit a grand slam for the Cubs in the top of the seventh - the first runs all day off Lynden standout Brooke Bonsen (16-3), who beat Cedarcrest 12-0 in the tournament opener.
"All I could think of was 'team,' and 'all for everyone,'" said Snydar, whose two-run single in the sixth off Ashley Queen gave the Lions (18-4) a 2-0 lead in what Lions coach Steve Petersen called "one heck of a classic high school softball game."
Snydar dropped a one-out popup to load the bases and set up Woolley's grand slam, but that didn't keep her from helping to lead the team in cheers, as she is well known for along with hitting standout Tanna Benson. Their enthusiasm proved infectious.
Lynden's No. 7, 8 and 9 hitters, Hannah Rothwell, Jenna Bonsen and Kaitlyn Brown, singled to open the last of the seventh, with Brown beating out a bunt.
Mandy Warner then was safe on a run-scoring fielder's choice, with the Cubs (15-6) unable to get the out at the plate as Rothwell scored. Taylor VanDalen lined to third base, but the ensuing throw was wild trying to catch Warner off first base, allowing Jenna Bonsen to score.
Snydar then singled home Brown, giving the Lions the chance to face Granite Falls (16-6) for the district title on Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Bender Fields. Both are assured state spots.
The bottom of the sixth seemed remarkable enough after Brown walked and Warner sacrificed. VanDalen - who holds six school records but has hit only two doubles in four years as a starter - then bunted for a single but alertly moved to second when she saw nobody covering the bag. Snydar followed with a sharp two-run single, scoring Brown and VanDalen.
"That's something we've been working on," VanDalen said, taking a lot of kidding about trying to find her way to second base any way she could.
Petersen, in his ninth year as coach, called the comeback win "just about the greatest" he has ever enjoyed.
Bonsen went 2 for 3, drove in four runs and pitched a three-hitter in the five-inning opener against Cedarcrest (14-7). Warner, VanDalen and Snydar had two hits apiece and combined for five RBIs and Jenna Bonsen went 3 for 3 with a double.
Lynden left fielder Michelle Navis made the defensive play of the day when she cut off the ball to hold Tinerra Adams, Sedro-Woolley's No. 3 hitter, to a double in the third inning while preventing a run.
Brooke Bonsen was especially proud of how Snydar, who is batting better than .400, came back from adversity.
"Trisha's just a rock," said Bonsen, whose defense made only one error in the doubleheader.
Warner, Lynden's leadoff hitter, did some remarkable base-running in the opener as Petersen made great use of her speed. She scored on a popup to the shortstop and also ran all the way from second base on an error by the shortstop.
Brooke Bonsen had her usual control - Petersen said she came into the doubleheader with "115 strikeouts and only 13 or 14 walks in about 105 innings." Bonsen walked two against Cedarcrest and none against Sedro-Woolley.
The big key in the second game for Bonsen was that she got a strikeout and a groundout after giving up the grand slam, allowing Lynden the chance for a memorable finish.
LYNDEN 5, SEDRO-WOOLLEY 4
Sedro-Woolley 000 000 4- 4 10 1
Lynden 000 002 3-5 8 1
WP: Brooke Bonsen (16-3). LP: Ashley Queen. Highlights: Sedro-Woolley: Kalia Chu-Greenough 3-4, grand slam, 4 RBI; Peyton Frizzell 2-3; Tinerra Adams 1-4, 2B. Lynden: Mandy Warner 1-3, RBI; Taylor VanDalen 1-3; Tricia Snydar 2-4, 3 RBI; Tanna Benson 1-2; Hannah Rothwell 1-3; Jenna Bonsen 1-3. Kaitlyn Brown 1-2.
LYNDEN 12, CEDARCREST 0
Cedarcrest 000 00-0 3 1
Lynden 135 3x-12 13 0
WP: Brooke Bonsen. LP: Stephanie Hall. Highlights: Lynden: Mandy Warner 2-3, RBI; Taylor VanDalen 2-3, RBI; Tricia Snydar 2-3, 3 RBI; Brooke Bonsen 2-3, 2B, 4 RBI; Destinee Matter 1-3; Hannah Rothwell 1-2, 3 runs; Jenna Bonsen 3-3, 2B; Kaitlyn Brown RBI.