LACEY — Rebecca Wright’s biggest fear was being the final out.
The Meadowdale High School catcher was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts before she stepped to the plate with two runners on and two out in the bottom of the 10th inning. Her Mavericks were trailing by one to Enumclaw in Friday’s 3A state quarterfinal game. Her confidence was shaken, but did her best to forget her prior at-bats and focus on the current one.
“I wanted to get a base hit,” Wright said, “and keep (the rally) going.”
Wright did that, and then some. She smacked a three-run home run over the left-center field wall to lead Meadowdale to a 10-8 comeback victory over the Hornets in the Class 3A state fastpitch tournament at the Regional Athletic Complex.
The Mavericks (22-2) are one of four teams in Saturday’s 9 a.m. semifinals. They play defending state champion Kamiakin (18-7) with the winner facing the Prairie (21-7) vs. University of Spokane (20-5) winner in the state title game at 1:30 p.m.
Wright and the Mavericks needed two extra-inning comebacks against Enumclaw (22-4). The Hornets tied it at 4 in the sixth inning and both teams scored a run in the ninth to set up Wright’s clinching hit.
Enumclaw sent five batters to the plate, scoring three runs, but the Mavericks rallied to score two runs and close to 8-7 with two outs before Wright came to the plate.
“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.
University is in the state semifinals for the second straight
year after a dramatic win over Bainbridge, 11-10, and then beating Peninsula, 5-1.
Against Bainbridge, University trailed 3-0, 6-4 and 9-5 before prevailing. Peninsula led 1-0 after three innings before the Titans struck for their runs as Taylor Morales went 3-for-4 with a triple, home run and three runs scored. Pitcher Brittany Hecker, a North Idaho College commit, struck out 10 and retired Peninsula in order 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 bidistrict, only Prairie remains alive. The Falcons of Brush Prairie defeated Mountlake Terrace, 7-4, and Juanita, 5-3, in the quarterfinals behind Taylor Bussey, who had a three home runs. Prairie is in the state semifinals for the first time since 2006, when the Falcons won the 3A state email@example.com theolympian.com/southsoundsports @megwochnick