A controversial play at the plate decided the district championship. Here, the umpire rules that Yelm’s Ally Choate beats the tag of Bonney Lake catcher Hailee Hagins. Photo by Dennis Box.

Panthers, WR Hornets heading to state fastpitch tourneys

A trio of Plateau fastpitch teams participated in weekend district tournaments and two kept their postseason dreams alive.

Advancing to state tournament play were the Bonney Lake Panthers and White River Hornets in the Class 3A and 2A ranks, respectively. Coming up a game short were the Enumclaw Hornets, who competed in the 4A district tourney.

BONNEY LAKE

The Panthers showed why they’re considered among the state’s elite, winning three straight games and advancing to the championship contest in the West Central/Southwest District tournament.

The May 19-20 tourney was staged at the Sprinker Recreation Center in Spanaway.

In the district finale, the Panthers squared off against the Yelm Tornadoes. Yelm entered the game undefeated and Bonney Lake sported just one loss – a nonleague setback to the Tornadoes. Yelm made it two in a row in the district title game, winning 1-0.

In their march to the district finals, the Panthers had put identical 11-1 pummelings of both Mountain View and Timberline. In the semifinal contest, Bonney Lake edged Kelso 2-1.

Bonney Lake now heads to the Class 3A state tourney, set for Friday and Saturday at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey. As the No. 2 seed from district play, the Panthers open at noon against Bainbridge. An opening-round victory would bring another game at 4 while a loss would mean playing again at 2.

WHITE RIVER

The White River girls are headed for familiar turf – the fields of Carlon Park in Selah, the home of the Class 2A state fastpitch tournament.

The Hornets earned another state berth last week by placing second at the West Central District 2A tournament, contested at the Sprinker Recreation Center in Spanaway.

White River had earned a first-round bye, then thumped Olympic 16-9 on Friday. A 10-0 shutout of Eatonville Saturday morning sent the Hornets into the district title game against Port Angeles. The Roughriders proved too tough, winning 13-2 to advance as the WCD’s No. 1 seed.

The state bracket has the Hornets opening the tourney with a 10 a.m. game against Cedarcrest. A victory would bring a second Friday game at 4 p.m. while an opening loss would mean playing again at 2 p.m.

ENUMCLAW

The Enumclaw High girls came within one game of advancing to the state Class 4A fastpitch tournament, losing their final contest of the season by just a single run.

The Hornets competed in a rare Saturday-Sunday district tournament, joining 15 other clubs in a chase for eight slots to state.

The West Central/Southwest District tourney was staged May 20-21 at the Boise Creek Sixplex in Enumclaw, which was quickly called upon to serve as host. The Kent Service Club Ballfields had, at the last minute, been deemed unfit for play.

Enumclaw opened district play on a positive note, beating South Kitsap 7-4 Saturday afternoon and slipping into the winner’s bracket. But the opening day closed with a tough 9-8 loss to the Tahoma Bears that bumped the Hornets into a Sunday-morning, loser-out game against Auburn Mountainview. The Lions put an end to Enumclaw’s season with a 5-4 decision.