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SHS fastpitch earns district title
About the only thing Sequim lost at the West Central District Tournament in Tacoma last weekend was a coin flip.
Facing three teams they’d seen — and beaten — this season, Sequim’s Wolves (24-0) blasted Kingston, Port Angeles and White River in succession to take the district’s top seed to the class 2A state tournament, slated for May 27-28 at Carlon Park in Selah.
“If they play to their potential, we can go all the way,” Sequim coach Joel Lewis said.
After topping Kingston twice in the regular season, Sequim topped the Buccaneers 10-0 in six innings in the district tourney’s second round. Maddy Zbaraschuk was 3-for-4, Columbia Haupt drove in two runs and Cindy Miller had two hits. Starter Demiree Briones held Kingston to four hits and struck out three.
That set up a district semifinal game with rival Port Angeles. The Roughriders came in hot off a 10-2 thrashing of Eatonville and a 17-2 win against Lindbergh, and had held leads in both regular season games against Sequim before falling to the eventual league champs.
After losing the coin flip, Sequim came out and put up five first-inning runs against Port Angeles starter Stacy Webb, highlighted by Haupt’s two-run single.
“That was crucial to the entire game (to start strong),” Sequim catcher Maddy Zbaraschuk said. “We stayed on top the whole time and avoided errors. Everyone was hitting.”
Rylleigh Zbaraschuk added an inside-the-park home run in the second and Sequim tacked on another three runs in the fifth, when Port Angeles coach Buddy Bear finally pulled Webb. A collision between Roughrider players in left field added injury to insult and Sequim held a 9-1 lead after five innings.
Port Angeles managed a three-run fifth inning but Sequim tacked on six runs in the sixth — including run-scoring triples by Maddy Zbaraschuk and Alexas Besand and a two-run home run by Haupt — giving Sequim a 15-4 win in six innings.
Lea Hopson and Rylleigh Zbaraschuk both finished 3-for-4 while Briones drove in three. Briones gave up just two earned runs in her six innings of work, striking out one.
“Now we have this momentum,” Maddy Zbaraschuk said, between Saturday’s games.
In the district championship game, Sequim made quick work of White River — a team they beat 20-0 in the regular season and 9-4 at sub-districts — by a 12-0 count in just five innings. Hopson was 2-for-2 with a home run and two RBIs, Maddy Zbaraschuk tripled and drove in two, Briones was 3-for-3 and Hannah Grubb homered and drove in three. Briones gave up just three hits and struck out four Hornets.
Port Angeles took third in the tourney, topping North Mason 7-4 in the consolation final.
On to state
Sequim advances with the top seed to state, where they open at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 27, against Lynden (14-10). The Lions advanced to the state tournament after defeating Sehome on Friday, May 20, in a winner-to-state third-place game of the Class 2A Northwest District tournament.
A Sequim win puts them in the quarterfinals against the winner of the Othello/Port Angeles game — setting up the possibility of a fourth Wolves-Roughrider game in 2011.
Lurking on Sequim’s side of the bracket is WF West, who took third at last year’s state 2A tourney, and West Valley (Spokane), who have lost just once in 25 games. Other top teams in the 2A brackets include Ellensburg and host Selah.
Reach Michael Dashiell at email@example.com.