In two weeks, the Timberline High School fastpitch squad hopes to be back at the Regional Athletic Complex as the hometown team at the Class 3A state tournament.
With the Blazers’ 10-2 victory over Wilson in the 3A Narrows League tournament title game Friday at the RAC, the magic number for wins to reach state is one. Earning the league’s top seed for next weekend’s bidistrict tournament at the Sprinker Recreation Center in Spanaway comes with a first-round bye and a winner-to-state game next Friday against Auburn Mountainview or Mountain View of Vancouver.
“It’s nice only having one game to win,” said Grace Utto-Galarneau, a junior pitcher and third baseman.
For the second straight day, the 3A Narrows regular-season champion Blazers erupted at the plate after trailing early. Timberline trailed Shelton, 7-1, in the second inning Thursday before scoring 16 unanswered runs to win in five. Against Wilson, the Blazers scored 10 in a row after a 1-0 deficit.
“It’s our intensity,” Utto-Galarneau said of the team’s quick-strike offense. “If we started off not so good, and they start scoring runs, we can start scoring runs. ... It’s just us.”
In the third, Molly Emmons, Makenzie Sylvester and Krista Jones had consecutive RBI hits to extend Timberline’s lead to 7-1. In all, the Blazers had 17 hits; seven players had at least two hits. Emmons, Sylvester, Jones, Maria Velez-Kraft and Brooklyn Taylor-Sparks combined for 11 hits and eight RBIs.
Blazers coach Charles Porche also wanted to test Utto-Galarneau after she pitched the first three innings of Thursday’s win over Shelton.
Utto-Galarneau, a transfer from Aberdeen, pitched a complete game against Wilson, allowing nine hits and striking out four.
“She’s a big-time competitor,” Porche said. “I wanted to get her back in there, and as long as we kept rolling, I was good with it. She was working it.”
North Thurston 18, Shelton 4 (5 innings): The Rams, who scored 15 runs over the first two innings, earned the No. 3 seed to the bidistrict tournament, while the Highclimbers are the league’s fourth seed. Seven North Thurston batters had at least two hits, including Saralyn Campbell (4-for-4, six RBIs), Raynie Ehret (2-for-4, three RBIs) and Annelies Dahmen (3-for-4).
Gig Harbor 5, Olympia 1: Three errors in the top of the seventh led to three unearned runs for the Tides, breaking a 1-1 tie in the 4A Narrows League tournament title game at the RAC.
Gig Harbor is the league’s top seed to the bidistrict tournament next weekend at Kent Service Ballfields. The Bears are the No. 2 seed.
After the teams split their regular-season meetings, Friday’s game was a pitchers’ duel between Gig Harbor’s Jordan Adams (eight strikeouts, four hits) and Olympia’s Maddy Stensby (12 strikeouts).
In the seventh, the Tides sent eight batters to the plate and got two of their seven hits off Stensby, including Aubrey Lindberg’s RBI single to left field.
South Kitsap 14, Yelm 10 (10 innings): The Wolves scored five runs in the top of the 10th to grab the league’s No. 3 seed to the bidistrict tournament. Yelm is the fourth seed.
Hannah Spohn and Maddie Watson each went 4-for-6 for South Kitsap, and Alex Choate led Yelm with a pair of doubles.