SPANAWAY — Charles Porche couldn’t wait for his Timberline Blazers to retake the field at the 3A West Central/Southwest bidistrict fastpitch tournament Friday, especially after scoring 12 runs over the final three innings that led to an opening-round victory and a big momentum swing heading into the winner-to-state game afterward.
But the second-year coach of the Blazers had to wait, much like many 4A and 3A teams Friday, as heavy rains postponed all late-afternoon and evening games at Sprinker Recreation Center.
The rain had no effect on three of the four South Sound teams that played in opening-round games. North Thurston and Shelton saw their seasons end early in the day against Auburn Mountainview (11-5) and Kelso (10-0), respectively, while in 4A play, Olympia still is in the state-berth conversation after splitting its two games. The Bears defeated Rogers, 4-2, in the early game, then dropped a 3-1 contest to Skyview before the rain came.
Timberline, on the other hand, will have to wait until 11 a.m. Saturday to play its quarterfinal game against Enumclaw after defeating Kennedy Catholic, 12-6. Enumclaw is the bidistrict’s top-seeded team in 3A.
The tournament resumes Saturday with all of Friday’s suspended 4 p.m. games continuing at 9 a.m., followed by all of Friday’s postponed 6 p.m. quarterfinal games rescheduled for 11 a.m. All regularly scheduled games Saturday will be pushed back two hours to accommodate the early-morning games.
The Blazers (14-7) trailed the Lancers from Burien 5-0 in the fourth inning before Porche gave his players a pep talk in the bottom half of the fourth, and the players heard him loud and clear.
Sending 12 batters to the plate, Timberline took the lead for good, scoring eight runs, highlighted by Aundrea Temple’s 3-run home run for an 8-5 lead on its way to the 12-6 victory.
“We’ve had a lot of games (like) this where we’ve come back late in a game,” Porche said. “In this one, we didn’t have a lot of spunk going on (early). I would like to think a little of (the comeback) was when I called them out on it.”
The Blazers had plenty of offense, led by Krista Jones, Rebecca Nelson and Ellie Jones, the winning pitcher, who each went 2-for-3 at the plate. A win Saturday against Enumclaw sends the program to its first state tournament berth since 2008, the year Timberline lost to Kennedy in the 3A state championship final.
North Thurston, the regular-season 3A Narrows League champion, saw its season end with a record of 16-7 after Auburn Mountainview scored nine of its 11 runs in the final three innings.
The Rams took a 4-2 lead in the third when Dejah Hickman’s double scored Dominique Greeno and Katie Kern. North Thurston wouldn’t score again until it got one run in the seventh.
Greeno finished 3-for-3 with two doubles, and Kern was 3-for-4, but the Rams also committed four errors to go with their 11 hits. The Lions pounded out 17 hits, paced by Quierra Bradford, Delene Colburn and Alicia Zabriskie, who had three hits each.
After Olympia’s 4-2 win over Rogers, Olympia only managed four hits off Skyview pitcher Michelle Brincefield. With the Storm’s lead 2-0 in the sixth inning, Nikki Schroeder’s RBI single scored Adrianna Rupright from third for the only run by the Bears.
Olympia coach Matt Loes said his team couldn’t string together the hits against Skyview, the champion of the 4A Greater St. Helens League this season, as it did against Rogers.
“We just need to piece together a few hits, and we will (today),” Loes said.
Olympia will play Puyallup at 1 p.m. Saturday after the Vikings staved off elimination by beating Mount Rainier, 11-0, in the consolation round.Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org @megwochnick theolympian.com/southsoundsports