CENTRALIA — Britni Wilson did everything in her power to make sure the Capital Cougars’ fastpitch season didn’t end on the opening day of the 2A District IV tournament Thursday – even if her velocity was 5 mph slower than normal, the result of an aching ankle that was injured during a club game last weekend.
After being designated hitter in Capital’s opener – a loss to 2A Evergreen Conference regular-season champ W.F. West – Wilson wasn’t about see her team go two-and-out and have its season end on a sour note.
“I wanted that ball (to pitch in Game 2),” Wilson said.
Facing elimination against Mark Morris, Wilson, a 5-foot-3 junior, struck out 10 Monarchs in a 3-2 victory in a loser-out game at Fort Borst Park.
Capital, along with Tumwater, remains alive in the consolation bracket of the tournament, which concludes today.
The Thunderbirds, runners-up at the 2A state tournament last spring, bounced back from a 6-3 loss to R.A. Long in their opener with a 5-3 win over Ridgefield.
W.F. West, with a 7-1 semifinal win over Centralia, and Aberdeen, which beat R.A. Long, 4-3, clinched state berths. The two teams face off at 6 p.m. today for the district title.
After Rachel Erickson’s solo home run tied the score at 1 in the second, Capital (8-14) took the lead for good in the fifth inning against Mark Morris on Taylor Kerr’s two-RBI single.
The Cougars will face R.A. Long in another loser-out game at 4 p.m. today.
“I knew once we got that lead that we were going to win,” Wilson said. “We just had to get the bats going. We realized we’re not done. We wanted to be here and we want to keep playing.
For Tumwater, its path to a third state berth in five seasons became a little trickier after its upset loss to R.A. Long. One playoff berth remains for four teams still alive in the tournament — Tumwater, Capital, R.A. Long and Centralia.
Against Ridgefield, champion of the 2A Greater St. Helens League, Tumwater (17-4) got three of its four runs in the first inning, capped off by Madi Crawford’s two-run home run that put the T-Birds ahead, 3-0.
Tumwater pounded out 10 hits off Spudders pitcher Shannon Boyle after struggling to produce timely hits in its loss to R.A. Long.
“In that first game,” Tumwater coach Doug Nedrow said, “we had the bases loaded and no outs and we didn’t score. Oh, that hurt.”
The T-Birds’ lead was 4-0 before Ridgefield trimmed it to one on Boyle’s two-run single that highlighted a three-run third – a lead that lasted until Kaylene Glasgo’s insurance run in the sixth for a 5-3 lead.
Tumwater pitcher Jocelyn Glasgo got out of a seventh-inning jam with runners on the corners. Glasgo finished 3-for-4 , and Crawford was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI.
Tumwater faces Centralia at 4 p.m. today in another loser-out game. The winners of Tumwater-Centralia and Capital-R.A. Long meet at 6 p.m. in a winner-to-state, loser-out game.
“Now, it’s win or go home,” Nedrow said.Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org theolympian.com/southsoundsports @megwochnick