SPANAWAY — For 15 minutes, Olympia High’s fastpitch season hung in the balance.
Would the Bears head to state for the first time since 2004, or would their season end at 20-5?
Umpires and tournament officials were involved in a protest by Olympia in Monday’s 4A West Central/Southwest bidistrict loser-out game against Puyallup.
The Vikings scored what was thought to be the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning, but a Puyallup baserunner collided with Bears shortstop Leticia Farias as she tried to make a play on the popup with runners on second and third. Olympia coach Matt Loes wanted an obstruction call, which would have led to a third out.
Minutes ticked by before the scoring call was reversed, and the Bears had new life entering the eighth. That’s when Hailey Hull’s sacrifice fly drove in Nikki Schroeder for a 3-2 win that sent Olympia to the Class 4A state tournament, which starts Friday
at Merkel Sports Complex in Spokane.
“The chances of us going to state were taken away for a second, and we all knew that wasn’t right,” Hull said. “We dug deep and pulled out of it.”
Hull drove in all four of the Bears’ runs Monday.
After their win over Puyallup came a 4-1 loss to Tahoma in a state seeding game.
Hull drove in the Bears’ run in the fourth. In the sixth, Tahoma scored all four of its runs with two outs, sending nine batters to the plate.
Farias suffered an apparent concussion in the collision in the Puyallup game, moving Hull from third base to shortstop against Tahoma.
Sophomore Maddy Stensby struck out 15 batters Monday, throwing more than 220 pitches over 14 innings. Freshman Erin Roloff pitched the seventh inning in relief against Tahoma.
Olympia will make its first state appearance since a Ryanne Horton-led Bears team, coached by Tom Jones, went 0-2 nine years ago at South End Recreation Area in Tacoma. But the 2013 Bears aren’t just happy to be going to state. They’re looking to bring home hardware.
“We have overcome a lot this season, and we deserve it,” Hull said. “We’ve bounced back from everything that’s in front of us. … I think we can go all the way. We definitely have the potential.”
Olympia is the only Thurston County team to qualify for the state tournament this year.
Blazers’ season ends: Timberline was routed in both of its winner-to-state games Monday at Sprinker Recreation Center, losing to Enumclaw, 10-4, and Auburn Mountainview, 16-2 in five innings.
The Blazers’ season ends with a 14-9 record.
Auburn Mountainview pitcher Delene Colburn held Timberline to three hits in a loser-out game.
Colburn also went 2-for-3 with a triple for the Lions, who scored 11 runs in the first inning.
Against Enumclaw, Timberline led 2-0 in the first inning. After two innings, however, Enumclaw had a 7-2 advantage.
Ellie Jones, Krista Jones and Aundrea Temple combined for four of the Blazers’ seven hits against the Hornets.Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org theolympian.com/southsoundsports @megwochnick