3A state fastpitch: Wright's 10th-inning walk-off HR lifts Meadowdale to semis, joining University, Prairie, Kamiakin

May 24, 2013 

By Meg Wochnick
Staff writer
LACEY – Rebecca Wright’s biggest fear was being the final out.

The Meadowdale sophomore catcher was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts before she stepped to the plate with two runners on, two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning, with her Mavericks trailing by one to Enumclaw in Friday’s 3A state quarterfinal game. Her confidence was shaken, but did her best to flush out her prior at-bats and focus on the scenario at stake.

“I wanted to get a base hit,” Wright said, “and keep (the rally) going.”

How about a walk-off three-run home run to win it and advance to the state semifinals? Even better for Wright.

She uncorked a 2-2 pitch over the left-center field wall to mount Meadowdale’s comeback for a 10-8 victory over the Hornets in 10 innings at the Regional Athletic Complex.

The Mavericks (22-2) are one of four teams in today’s 9 a.m. state semifinals. They join Prairie of Southwest Washington, University of Spokane and defending state champion Kamiakin of Kennewick in today’s two semifinals games. Meadowdale faces Kamiakin (18-7) and University (20-5) takes on Prairie (21-7) with the semifinal winners advancing to the 1:30 p.m. state title game.

For Wright and the Mavericks, the 10th-inning comeback was part of two extra-inning comebacks. After the Hornets (22-4) tied it up at 4-all in the sixth, both teams scored a run in the ninth and entered the 10th inning tied at 5-5. Enumclaw, the 3A West Central/Southwest bi-district champions, sent five batters to the plate, scoring three runs, but the Mavericks rallied to score two runs and pulled within 8-7 with two outs before Wright came to the plate as the sixth batter.

“I wasn’t having the best game hitting-wise, so for me to have a walk-off home run, it’s great, especially at state,” she said.

For the Titans of University, they’re in the state semifinals for the second straight year after wins over Bainbridge, 11-10, and Peninsula, 5-1. Taylor Morales was 3-for-4 with a triple home run and scored three runs, as the Titans scored all of its runs unanswered after trailing 1-0 after two innings, and senior pitcher Brittany Hecker, a North Idaho College commit, struck out 10 and retired the side in the sixth and seventh innings.

“Brittany had command of her pitches in the second game,” University coach Jon Schuh said. Any time she pitches like that, we have a chance to win. Plus, we were able to come up with a couple big hits.”

Of the six teams in the tournament from 3A West Central/Southwest bi-district, only Prairie remains alive. The Falcons defeated Mountlake Terrace, 7-4, and Juanita, 5-3, in the quarterfinals and was paced by Taylor Bussey, who had a three home runs in two games. Prairie is in the state semifinals for the first time since 2006, when the program won the 3A state title.

Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 mwochnick@theolympian.com theolympian.com/southsoundsports @MegWochnick