W.F. West’s Lexie Strasser threw a one-hitter against Tumwater on Monday, and though she wasn’t as dominant Tuesday during the rematch, she didn’t need to be.
The Bearcats’ offense, led by Strasser’s three-run homer, backed up the senior standout with an opportunistic 10-hit attack in a 9-3 fastpitch victory at Tumwater that locked up the 2A Evergreen Conference championship for the Bearcats (13-1 overall, 11-0 2A EvCo).
The game was a continuation of a suspended game on April 25 that was postponed due to rain after one inning with the Bearcats leading 1-0 on an RBI single by Ashlee Vadala.
On Tuesday, W.F. West scored in all but one of the remaining innings. Tumwater (12-6, 10-4 EvCo) managed nine hits off Strasser but left 12 runners on base.
“I have all the confidence in my team,” Strasser said. “The later it gets in the season, the more fluid it gets. It’s coming together.”
In the third inning, Strasser stepped to the plate with two outs and runners on second and third base. Her blast over the left-field fence off Tumwater pitcher Savannah Owen gave W.F. West a 5-1 lead, and left Tumwater coach Doug Nedrow kicking himself.
“Instead of challenging her, I should have put her on base,” Nedrow said. “The next batter struck out.”
The Bearcats picked up a run in the second inning when Strasser led off with a solid single and eventually scored on an infield groundout by Ashley Hoven.
Tumwater countered with a run in the bottom of the second inning when senior Alyssa Carpenter led off with a double and came around to score on a Bearcats error.
W.F. West’s Olivia Dean had an RBI triple in the fourth as the Bearcats went up 6-1.
The T-Birds had a threat snuffed out in the third inning when Bearcats second baseman Kyndra Haller tagged out Sawyer Vessey trying to score after an infield single by Madison Pleasant.
In the Tumwater fourth, Katie Cunningham led off with a single and eventually scored on a single by Vessey, but that was all the T-Birds could muster though they loaded the bags twice. Tumwater loaded the bases again in the fifth and came up empty.
Kindra Davis led off the W.F. West fifth inning with a home run, and the Bearcats scored twice in the seventh on RBIs by Davis and Paetynn Lopez.
Tumwater senior Sarah Potwin made the most of her last at-bat in a home game with a solo homer in the seventh for the T-Birds’ final run. Cunningham (3 for 4) and Carpenter followed with singles, but Strasser closed out the game by retiring the next three batters in order, two by strikeout.
W.F. West will be the No. 1 EvCo seed to the Southwest District 4 tournament May 18-19 at 7th Avenue Park in Longview. Tumwater, with eyes on the No. 2 EvCo seed, plays at Black Hills Thursday.