Moments after the Cougars’ 3-1 victory over third-ranked Prairie, the players realized the win sends Capital to the Class 3A state fastpitch tournament.
It was an unforeseeable conclusion against a traditional powerhouse that won the 3A Greater St. Helens League. But the Western Cascade Conference’s No. 2 team didn’t back down.
“It was an emotional game for us,” Capital coach Mel Weems said. “It was a big win.”
It also proved to be Capital’s only game Tuesday as the rains started to fall in earnest around 3 p.m. and didn’t let up, forcing tournament officials to cancel the remainder of the West Central-Southwest bi-district tournament at 4:27 p.m.
Tournament director Marc Blau made the cancellation announcement, then announced the seedings for each of the state-bound teams in Class 4A, 3A and 2A in front of coaches.
“It wasn’t the easy or quick decision to make, but I think you understand it was the right decision,” Blau said.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association mandated that all district play be completed by Tuesday. But after the rain began again at Sprinker Recreation Center, nine games combined in the 4A, 3A and 2A brackets remained to be played when the cancellation was announced.
Tournament officials determined state seeding based on how teams performed in the tournament and by regular-season power rankings.
In 3A, the eight teams going to state are Capital, Franklin Pierce, Bonney Lake, Union, Camas, Prairie, Mount Rainier, and Enumclaw. The Cougars, Cardinals, Panthers and Titans earned No. 1 seeds because all four went unbeaten in tournament play.
Those four were named “quad district champions.” The otherremaining four were seeded based on power rankings that included league finishes.
In 4A, six teams qualified. Kentlake, Puyallup and Rogers are No. 1 seeds, followed by Stadium, Jefferson and Emerald Ridge. In 2A, Steilacoom and North Mason are co-champions. Steilacoom received the No. 1 seed.
All teams headed to state won at least two games.
Capital (11-7) was scheduled to play two more games for state seeding after its win over Prairie. The weather changed that.
“I’ve never ran into this before,” Weems said. “That’s a first for me. At least we’re in the door and we’re going to state. We’re happy about it.”
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org