Climbing to athletic heights no White River fastpitch team has ever experienced, this year’s Hornet crew battled their way to the final game of the Class 2A season.
In that finale, the White River girls came up a run short, falling 3-2 to a talented squad from W.F. West High School in Chehalis. Still, returning to Buckley with a second-place state trophy is something no other Hornet team had done.
White River had claimed league and district championships to be among the 16 teams gathering at Carlon Park in Selah for the two-day state 2A tournament.
The Hornets opened tourney play Friday morning with a 4-1 victory over Sehome High, then advanced to the semifinals by defeating Selah 7-6.
Playing Saturday morning with an opportunity to play for all the marbles, White River’s offense boomed during a 12-8 victory over Woodland. That set the stage for the title tilt against the W.F. West Bearcats, who went on the win their second 2A title in four seasons.
The finale featured a battle between talented pitchers, as White River’s Kayla Smith and the Bearcats’ Ali Graham squared off.
The Chehalis school built a 3-0 lead, but White River refused to fold against Graham. The Hornets cut the lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning, using a run-scoring double by Erin Radford, followed by a RBI single by Smith.
White River, which entered the state championship game on a 19-game winning streak, finished the season with a 26-2 record.
The Enumclaw Hornets played three games at the Class 3A fastpitch state tournament, losing the opening game then following with a win and another loss.
The Hornets opened the tournament playing Juanita and dropped a tight game 1-0, falling out of contention for a championship. Juanita went on to win the 3A title beating Everett 9-0.
The game against Juanita was scoreless through four innings with Enumclaw ace Quinn Breidenbach throwing.
The winning run came across on a wild pitch.
In the top of the sixth inning, Enumclaw had the tying run on third but was not able to bring the runner home.
The Hornets went on to beat West Seattle 19-2. The team played Kelso next and lost 5-3.
The Hornets had defeated Kelso for the district championship 3-2 after the Hilanders committed three errors on one play to end the game.
The Hornet girls won the SPSL crown with a 14-0 record before capturing their third consecutive district championship. The team’s overall record ended at 23-3.