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Fastpitch: SHS snags No. 2 seed to state
The Wolves are on the road to Selah once more.
Sequim’s fastpitch squad locked down a state berth with a pair of wins at the West Central District tournament in Tacoma May 24-25, with the only slip a 9-3 loss to Fife in the district final on Sunday afternoon.
The Wolves (19-4) move on to the class 2A state tournament at Selah’s Carlon Park on May 30, where they open at noon against Capital (Olympia).
“They (Capital) finished second in their districts and came on strong at the end,” Sequim head coach Mike McFarlen said. “It’s one game at a time. There are’s some good teams there (at state), but we don’t worry about the other ones.”
Sequim senior Makayla Bentz earned wins against Bremerton in the May 24 quarterfinal and Orting in the May 25 semifinal before Fife’s Trojans broke the SHS senior’s spell.
“It’s a great feeling,” Sequim’s Melissa Lewis said. She joins Bentz and fellow senior Alexas Besand returning to state for a fourth time and part of Sequim’s 2011 state championship team.
“It’s a big deal for us to go back and repeat what we did in our freshman year,” she said. “We have an awesome team. All of us think we can go really far.”
McFarlen said the Wolves had a much better district tourney than in 2013, when they finished with the district’s fifth and final seed, setting up a game with top-seeded Selah (which Sequim lost 10-4).
“We definitely did a better job this year than last,” McFarlen said.
“Our hitting is kind of streaky,” McFarlen said, looking toward Sequim’s chances of a long run at the state tourney. “It’s all a matter of the girls hitting all at the same time. For us, we need clutch hits at the end.”
Rain moved the district’s opening games to Saturday, when the Wolves pounded Bremerton pitching for 14 hits in a 10-0 Sequim win. Led by Lewis’ RBI triple and three-hit attack and Alexas Besand’s two-run home run, Sequim’s offense also featured Olivia Kirsch, Shelby Lott, Mary Lu Clift and McKenzie Bentz with two hits each and Tia Bourm’s three RBIs. Makayla Bentz was sharp, striking out eight and allowing just four hits and a walk in the six-inning, mercy rule-shortened game.
Against Orting, Mary Lu Clift tripled and scored in the fourth inning to tie the game, then homered to break a 1-1 tie in the sixth as the Wolves edged the Cardinals, 3-1. Mckenzie Bentz added a solo home run in the sixth for insurance. Makayala Bentz went the distance, giving up just one second-inning run on four hits and a walk. She struck out three. Lewis and Lott each had triples.
In Sunday’s district final, Fife jumped to a 6-0 lead after two innings. Sequim halved the lead with three runs in the third, but the Trojans brought three more runs home in the seventh for a 9-3 victory and the top seed to state.
Fife’s Lauren Spencer got the win after giving up three runs in three innings but it was Trojan Anna Kasner who kept the Wolves at bay, striking out 10 and giving up just one hit in four innings.
Claire Smith had the big hit for Fife in the second inning, a bases-clearing, three-run triple. Amanda Lewis added a two-run triple in the seventh.
Olivia Kirsch highlighted Sequim’s third inning with a two-run triple of her own. Bourm, Lott and Alysen Montileus had Sequim’s other hits. Lewis worked five-and-a-third innings of relief for the Wolves.