The Mount Baker softball team captured the final Class 1A State Tournament berth in a masterful 7-0 win over Blaine in the Class 1A Tri-District Tournament on Saturday, May 18, in Kent.
While the win moved Mount Baker on to a seeding game against Seattle Christian, the loss proved to be the end of the season for Alisa Burke and her Blaine Borderites.
"I think our girls came ready to play," Mount Baker coach Ron Lepper said in a phone interview. "We didn't try to do too much."
Baker jumped out early, scoring all seven of its runs in the firs three innings including a two-run home run by Emily Yost in the first inning.
"They came out swinging and moved the ball," Burke said in a phone interview.
Yost finished the game 3 for 4 with four RBI while starting pitcher Aleks Toivola added two hits and a run scored to her already impressive day.
Toivola held the Borderites at bay, allowing just seven hits and escaping a situation in the fifth in which Blaine had two girls on and no outs.
"That was big," Lepper said. "We had a seven-run lead, and that took the momentum away."
With the win, Mount Baker moved on to face Seattle Christian in a game that would decide seeding for the state tournament.
And just as the Mountaineers did before, they opened the game strong scoring eight runs in the first three innings.
But as fast Mount Baker's start was, Seattle Christian answered back with five runs in the third, six in the fourth, five in the fifth and four in the sixth, giving them a 10-run lead entering the seventh and winning 28-10.
"They hit the ball over our heads a couple times, and when they didn't hit it solid, they found someplace," Lepper said. "You have to tip your cap and say, 'That is the way it goes.'"
Aysha Schwinden finished the game a perfect 4 for 4 with a double, home run and two RBI. Although Toviola lacked the level of sharpness she had in the first game, she still was able to drive in three runs while Tawni Galbraith added two RBI of her own.
Although Blaine fell earlier to Mount Baker, ending its season, the Borderites did battle in their opening game of the day to defeat Cedar Park Christian 6-5.
Selena Pai went 3 for 4 with a double and three RBI, and Lexi Greguski added two hits and two runs of her own in the win.
In other action, Lynden Christian softball won its second-round game against University Prep 10-0 in five innings. The Lyncs rode an impressive two-home run, five-RBI day from Shelby Brown.
"Shelby has been overdue for quite a while," Lynden Christian coach Mitch Moorlag said in a phone interview. "She put the barrel on the bat and put a couple out there."
The Lyncs jumped out to the tune of five runs in the first, all Moorlag attributed to a change in mentality.
"The last few weeks we've been waiting to do damange until late," he said. "We pretended the first inning was the seventh inning."
Bridget Kruck picked up her seventh win of the season in the strong effort.
The win moved the Lyncs on to a matchup with Seattle Christian in a winner-to-state, loser-goes-home matchup. Unlike the previous game, though, Lynden Christian struggled to score early and the Warriors took advantage leading to an 8-3 win.
"They were a strong offensive team," Moorlag said. "At the end of the day, we have to tip our hats to them."
Seattle Christian hung five runs on Kruck over the first two innings, and while the Lyncs did add a run in the sixth and seventh to bridge the gap, they couldn't manage the big inning they needed to get back into it.
"We tried chipping away," Moorlag said. "That never-say-die attitude. We weren't able to string anything together and get a crooked number."
BLAINE 6, CEDAR PARK CHRISTIAN-BOTHELL 5
Blaine 002 040 0 - 6 8 4
CPC-Bothell 000 400 1 - 5 6 1
WP: Ashley Bolick (NA). LP: Grgus (NA). Highlights: Blaine: Lexi Greguski 2-3 2R, Selena Pai 3-4 R 2B 3RBI, Ashley Bolick 1-3 2B RBI R.
MOUNT BAKER 7, BLAINE 0
Mount Baker 205 000 0 - 7 8 0
Blaine 000 000 0 - 0 7 3
WP: Aleks Toivola (NA). LP: Lexi McElwain (x-x). Highlights: Blaine: Ashley Bolick 2-3. Mount Baker: Emily Yost 2-3 2R 2R-HR 4RBI, Aleks Toivola 2-4 R, Megan Young 1-4, Aysha Schindwen 1-3 R.
LYNDEN CHRISTIAN 10, UNIVERSITY PREP 0 (5)
Lynden Christian 500 50 - 10 11 2
Univerity Prep 000 00 - 0 1 5
WP: Bridget Kruck (7-12). LP: Manasse (NA). Highlights: Lynden Christian: Shelby Brown 2-4 2 HR 4RBI, Livi Vander Griend 2-4 2B, Karley De Jager 1-2 2B.
SEATTLE CHRISTIAN 8, LYNDEN CHRISTIAN 3
Lynden Christian 010 001 1 - 3 8 2
Seattle Christian 140 021 0 - 8 12 1
WP: Baucom (NA). LP: Bridget Kruck (7-13). Highlights: Lynden Christian: Bridget Kruck 2-3 2B, Shelby Brown 2-4, Livi Vander Griend 2-3.
SEATTLE CHRISTIAN 20, MOUNT BAKER 10
Seattle Christian 005 654 0 - 20 19 1
Mount Baker 314 011 0 - 10 11 2
WP: Beale (x-x). LP: Aleks Toivola (11-9). Highlights: Mount Baker: Aysha Schwinden 4-4 2B HR 2RBI, Lacey Postlewait 2-3 3R, Aleks Toivola 1-3 3B 3RBI, Ivy Locke 2-3 3B, Tawni Galbraith 1-2 2RBI.