Mount Baker's 2014 softball season will go down as the best in school history. After a nail-biting 7-6 victory over Hoquiam, the Mountaineers fell to Elma in the Class 2A State Championship 6-1 on Saturday, May 31, at Columbia Playfield in Richland.
"It's definitely heartbreaking a little," Baker's Emily Yost said in a phone interview. "But I'm proud of what we accomplished."
The Mountaineers almost didn't make it to the final game, but Yost's double in the bottom of the seventh inning against Hoquiam scored Emma Lallas and sent the team to the title game.
"It felt good," Yost said. "I had been struggling at the plate and the coaches kept telling me my time would come. It felt good to come up clutch."
Yost's season started with a wrist injury and for her to come all the way back and be the one to send the Mountaineers to the championship was special, Yost said.
It was a six-run fifth inning that gave Yost the opportunity though. The inning in which the Mountaineers had five of their 10 hits gave Baker the lead.
Aleks Toivola got her third straight win of the tournament, as she scattered eight hits over seven innings.
In the championship game it was all Elma from the start, as the team scored two in the first and added one in the third, fifth, sixth and seventh.
"Obviously, the girls are disappointed," Baker coach Ron Lepper said in a phone interview. "Once you get there, you want to take it all. ... But the coaches are so proud of the effort the girls put forth. We asked them to come and compete and they did that."
Nobody expected the Mountaineers to make it to the state title game back in March, or even coming into the tournament but they continued to play good team ball all season, Lepper said.
It was a leadership of five seniors and strong pitching from Toivola, who was 3-1 in the circle and 8 for 14 at the plate during state, that held the team together.
"Everyone stepped up and I can't give enough credit to Aleks. She pitched incredible," Yost said.
The Mountaineers end their season 20-8, with a district title and a second-place state finish.
MOUNT BAKER 7, HOQUIAM 6
Hoquiam 003 010 2 - 6 8 1
Mount Baker 000 060 1 - 7 10 2
WP: Aleks Toivola (18-5). LP: Bradley (n/a). Highlights: Baker: Emily Yost 2-4, 2B, 3 RBI; Aleks Toivola 2-4, RBI; Jordan Lallas 2-3, RBI; Jordan Myles 2-3.
ELMA 6, MOUNT BAKER 1
Elma 201 011 1 - 6 11 0
Mount Baker 100 000 0 - 1 3 2
WP: Goldsmith (n/a). LP: Aleks Toivola (18-6). Highlights: Baker: Emma Lallas 1-3, RBI; Lacey Postlewait 1-3, R; Aleks Toivola 1-3.