Bonney Lake fastpitch: Rams hand Panthers ticket home

For the second time in eight days, the Mount Rainier Rams handed Bonney Lake High a setback in girls fastpitch.

But Saturday’s loss to the Rams ended the Panthers’ hopes of reaching the state tournament for a third consecutive year.

Mount Rainier overcame a 4-1 deficit and eliminated Bonney Lake from Class 3A postseason play with a thrilling 5-4 win in a winner-to-state, loser-out game at Saturday’s West Central District tournament at Sprinker Recreation Center in Parkland, Wash.

Bonney Lake finished the season 17-5.

Mount Rainier scored once in the top of the first inning, but the Panthers, under interim coach Andrew Sage, rallied back to take the lead. Sage took over for Dave Loveless who resigned May 8.

In the second, Ashley Burns scored on an Alexis Miller single to right field with one out. Burns reached base on a hit over first base, then moved to second on Danille Epperson’s sacrifice bunt.

Miller scored on Taylor McCarthy’s double for a 2-1 Panther lead.

In the third, Eva Beal drilled a triple over the outfield, then Kim Courneya brought home Beal with a single for a 3-1 margin with no outs.

Bonney Lake added to its lead with another run in the fifth. Beal scored on Courneya’s grounder past the shortstop with two outs.

During a contested call at third base by Mount Rainier, the umpire ordered the Rams’ coach to remain in the dugout. The umpire ruled the Mount Rainier third baseman obstructed Beal from going to third.

The Rams closed the gap, 4-2, with a run in the sixth.

In the seventh, Bonney Lake pitcher Caitlin Colvin walked the first batter, then struck out the second. But the Rams connected on back-to-back singles to load the bases.

A single between short and second allowed two runs to score for a 4-all tie with one out. Colvin gave up another hit as Mount Rainier scored the winning run. Colvin fanned two of the next three batters to escape the inning.

Bonney Lake’s last hope hinged on the bottom of the batting order. With one out, Karly Edwards singled to put the tying run on first.

Brittany Myers’ pop bunt was hauled in by the Rams’ catcher on a diving catch at home plate. Beal’s foul ball was caught for the final out.

Beal led Bonney Lake with a triple and a single, while Courneya had two hits.

Colvin, pitching her final game in a Panther uniform, struck out seven batters and gave up six hits.

Bonney Lake moved on to the second round in consolation play with a 6-1 win over Sumner Friday. Colvin led the Panthers with two hits and three RBIs. She also picked up the win as Bonney Lake beat the Spartans for the third time this season.

The Panthers scored three runs in the second and three more in the sixth.

Bonney Lake opened the WCD tournament with a 4-1 loss to Prairie in first-round action Friday.

Prairie scored all its runs in the second inning, two coming off walks by Colvin.

The Panthers scored their lone run in the bottom of the third.

McCarthy, who reached base on a walk, scored on a Courneya bunt.

Reach Dannie Oliveaux at or 360-802-8209.

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