Nooksack Valley pulled itself out of a 4-0 hole in the first round, but it couldn’t quite do it a second time in the Class 1A State Quarterfinals Friday, May 27, at Richland.
Nooksack Valley scored all five runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Colville 5-4 in the first round.
“Their pitcher kept us off balance for 6 2/3 innings, but then we kind of got our bearings set in the seventh,” Nooksack coach Tom Harmon said in a phone interview. “We got a couple of breaks with an error and and a walk and a hit batter. All of a sudden we started piecing things together.”
With the score tied 4-4 and the bases loaded, Olivia Berkan ripped a shot that Harmon said probably would have cleared the bases if they needed that many runs to win the game.
But the Pioneers (16-10) found themselves in a similar 4-0 hole in the quarterfinals in the fifth inning against Castle Rock. Again they got their offense going and scored three runs, and Harmon said he made a decision to send a runner on a play that could have tied the game, but she was thrown out at home to keep the score 4-3. Castle Rock ultimately won 5-3.
The Pioneers bounced back in the consolation round to beat Kiona Benton 3-1 to stay alive for a state trophy.
“We just gutted that one out,” Harmon said.
Lynden Christian’s day didn’t get off to as good of a start, as the Lyncs were shut out 7-0 by La Center in the first round. They also bounced back, beating Chimacum 10-6 in the consolation round. But that’s as far as they could get, as Bellevue Christian beat the Lyncs 2-1 in eight innings late in the evening, ending the Lyncs’ season with a 17-8 record.
Bellevue Christian moves on to face Nooksack in another elimination game at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 28. The Pioneers must win two games Saturday to secure a tournament trophy.
“In tournament ball, if you look too far ahead, you stub your toe,” Harmon said. “We’ve got the 11 a.m. game, and that’s what we’re focused on now.”