Sequim players celebrate a second-place finish at the West Central District tournament last week, going 3-1 and earning a spot in the class 2A state tournament. Submitted photo

Sequim players celebrate a second-place finish at the West Central District tournament last week, going 3-1 and earning a spot in the class 2A state tournament. Submitted photo

Fastpitch: Wolves snag second seed to state

Only a familiar foe could keep Sequim’s red-hot Wolves’ fastpitch team from a district title.

Sequim (16-6) racked up three wins and earned a state 2A tournament berth at the West Central District tourney last week, their lone blemish coming in a tightly-contested, 9-6 loss to rival Port Angeles in the championship.

The Wolves and the rest of the Olympic League dominated last week’s district play, taking the top four spots. The league will make up a quarter of the 16-team 2A state tourney that’s set for May 24-25 in Selah.

Winners of 10 of their final 12 games — those coming at the hands of PA’s Roughriders — Sequim opens state at noon on May 24 against the hometown Selah Vikings. Selah comes into the tourney with a losing record (12-13) but won five of six games at its district tourney.

“You don’t underestimate any team at state,” Sequim coach Tim Lusk said.

SHS’s winning ways

Sequim opened the district tourney with a 11-0 rout of River Ridge on May 17.

Christy Grubb and Bobbi Sparks sparked the offense with three hits apiece. Grubb had a double and two RBIs, while Lili Fili added a two-run double in the fourth inning.

“She’s really started coming on,” Lusk said of Fili, a freshman.

Latisha Robideau added a two-run single as Sequim drubbed the Hawks in a mercy rule-shortened game.

In their second game on May 17, Sequim topped higher-seeded Eatonville 7-2, with freshman pitcher LeeAnn Raney getting her second win in as many games After holding River Ridge to two hits, Raney limited the Cruisers to two runs on four hits while striking out eight in a complete game victory.

“She toughs up very strong for a freshman,” Lusk said of Raney.

Fili hit a second inning home run to put Sequim ahead 1-0. Kiana Robideau had the crucial hit against the Cruisers, a three-run home run in the third to stretch the Wolves’ lead to 4-0.

Raney drove in Isabelle Dennis and Jayla Julmist with a two-run single in the seventh.

Dennis went 3-for-4, Sparks went 2-for-4 and Julmist was 2-for-3.

Lusk had high praise for the Wolves’ infield defense, in particular Grubb at third.

“(She) was golden glove at third base,” Lusk said. “I don’t think either team we played got anybody on bunts.”

With the two wins Sequim secured a state tournament berth — the Wolves’ eighth in nine seasons — and set up a semifinal against Olympic, which the Wolves won 8-4.

Riders close out districts

In their fifth match-up of the season — two league games, a non-league game, a district seeding/tiebreaker and the district title game, of which PA took three of five — Port Angeles had enough left in the proverbial tank on May 18 to take the crown and the West Central District’s top seed to state.

A three-run home run in the sixth inning by PA junior Madi Roening turned out to be the difference in a 9-6 victory.

The Wolves opened up a 3-0 lead, but the Riders rallied with five runs in the third to take a 5-3 advantage. Sequim scored a run in the fifth to cut the score to 5-4 and the Riders responded with a four-run sixth, with Roening’s bomb giving PA a commanding 9-4 lead.

Sequim scored two runs in the sixth inning, but Riders’ pitcher Kiana Watson-Charles slammed the door in the seventh.

Raney tossed a complete game for the Wolves, giving up eight hits and one walk while striking out out five.

Grubb went 2-for-4, Dennis and Raney went 2-for-3, and Fili had a double.

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Mike McFarlen, pictured here in the spring of 2014, returns to lead the Sequim High fastpitch program after a three-season absence. He led the Wolves from 2012-2016. Sequim Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell
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