District 4 2A Finals 4’s, EVCO Sweeps Baseball, Fastpitch and Soccer

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5/8/2021

The Spring sports Final 4’s wrapped up this week in District 4 2A and the WF West Bearcats still rule the Diamond, both. The Bearcats won both the Fastpitch and Baseball District Championships. The EVCO league showed well in both the baseball and fastpitch Final 4’s finishing 1st and 2nd. The GSHL 2a settling for 3rd and 4th.

Columbia River boys soccer team carried the torch for the GSHL advancing to the Championship match on Saturday.

Below is our coverage of each final 4 with re-cap stories, links to other coverage, pictures and video highlights.

Fastpitch

Championship Game
WF West 9, Rochester 1

The WF West Bearcats found their swings much sooner than in the Semi-final game against Columbia River. Rochester had been the team that were the closest to knocking them off this season. In their regular season games the Bearcats beat the Warriors 1-0 and 3-1.

Kamy Dacus was on the hill and although wasn’t her sharpest she kept mistakes to a minimum and let her defense go to work for her while the offense got cranked up in the top of the 1st inning.

Getting things started was lead-off hitter Lena Fragner who got on by error which was followed by a base hit from Brielle Etter. Saige Brindle then belted a 1 out double knocking in 2 runs for a quick 2-0 lead. There was a walk and a hit batter and another hit from Breanna Crosby and the Bearcats would add another run for a 3-0 lead after their first run through the batting line-up.

Rochester needing to bounce back as quickly as possible began with a walk to lead-off hitter Sadie Knutson. Knutson moved over on a ground out and the  scored when Staysha Fluetsch stroked an RBI single to make it 3-1. But that would be it as 2 ground outs would end the inning but the Warrirors were in the game.

WF West wanted to make a statement early and with a 3-0 lead did so in their next at bat in the top of the 2nd. Fragner led off again and walked, Etter and Fragner were both safe on an error and Dacus would walk to load the bases with no outs. Brindle then skied a high fly ball for an RBI sacrifice for a 4-1 lead. Savannah Hawkins then walked to re-load the bases with 1 out. Alisha Anderson who had a 3 run home run in the semi-final game topped that blasting a bases clearing Grand Slam to make it 8-1.

Dacus and the defense then took over limiting the Warriors to just 4 batters in the 2nd, 3rd and 5th innings and 3 up and 3 down in the 4th, 6th and 7th innings. Dacus struck out the side in the 2nd and 5th and finished with 10 strike-outs, 1 walk and 3 hits. the defense scooped up 7 ground outs and caught 2 fly balls and a line-drive.

WF West would score a 9th run in the top of the 7th when Anderson got on by an error and was knocked in on a base hit from Rachel Gray for the final score of 9-1.

The Bearcats finished the season 16-0 and was their first District Championship since 2018. Rochester finished the season 12-5 and 2nd place in the District Tournament.

Video Highlights

Consolation Game, 3rd & 4th place
Ridgefield 17, Columbia River 7

The trilogy was completed in the 3rd Place game between Columbia River and Ridgefield. The teams split the first two meetings in the regular season but now a trophy was up for grabs. 

Both teams brought their bats and got off to fast starts as after just an inning it was 3-2 Ridgefield on top. Then, Ridgefield’s Maizy Whitlow got things under control pitching wise and only allowed one more run in her 3 more innings of work. 

The Spudders built a 13-3 lead heading into the 5th. That was when the Rapids woke back up scoring 4 to make it 13-7. However Ridgefield just needed 4 batters in the 5th to put the game away. A lead off double by Madison Walker got the inning started. Then came the power surger. Back to back to back home runs by Lily Mittman, Kekai Schultz, and Elizabeth Peery would bring upon the mercy rule and end the game.

Sophia Reyes would take home player of the game honors for Columbia River. The Co-Players of the game for Ridgefield would by Lily Mittman and Kekai Schultz who combined going 8-8 with 9 RBIs.

Semi-Finals
WF West 4, Columbia River 2

The Semi-final showdown was a pitchers dual for 5 innings as Columbia River’s Taylor McRae and WF West’s Kamy Dacus were brilliant. McRae faced 19 batters in 5 innings and had to work out of trouble only in the 4th when Dacus doubled but the pinch-runner got tagged out getting too far off base. There was also an error and a base hit but still the Rapids avoided giving up a run.

Dacus struck out 11 and scattered 3 hits to keep the Warriors scoreless. Dacus ran into trouble in the top of the 6th, after a strike-out Halle Jordan belted a double followed by a sacrifice bunt moving Jordan over to 3rd but now with 2 outs. Sophia Reyes then slammed an RBI double followed  by an RBI single from Allison Countryman giving C-R a 2-0 lead.

WF West in the bottom of the 6th had not faced too many situations where they trailed this late and they responded how you would hope if your a Bearcat fan. Brielle Etter led it off with a triple. Etter would score on an error that put Dacus on 1st. Saige Brindle then got aboard by error and was followed by a ground out. This brought Alisha Anderson to the plate with 2 out and 2 on when she got ahold of one and sent it over the centerfield fence for a 3 run bomb giving the Bearcats a 4-2 lead after 6.

Dacus finished it off with a fly ball to center and then 2 strike-outs. The win sent the Bearcats to the District Championship game against Rochester.

Video Highlights

Semi-Finals
Rochester 11, Ridgefield 3

In one semi-final it was the Rochester Warriors taking on the Ridgefield Spudders. The teams were evenly matched after 3 innings tied 1-1.
However Rochester would pull away in the 4th scoring 6 runs while batting through the order. A couple of errors kept the inning alive for Rochester and they made Ridgefield pay in a big way. The Warriors increased their lead to 11-1 but then the Spudders bats woke up. They were able to push across two runs in the 6th to stay alive and earn at least 3 more outs. However Rochester pitcher Sadie Knutson was able to get out of a bases loaded jam with no outs to keep the damage to just two. Knutson would finish her complete game and lead Rochester to the District title game with the 11-3 win.
Sadie Knutson earned player of the game honors with her complete game and 9 strikeout performance. She also had a great diving catch on a bunt attempt that turned into a double play. Elizabeth Peery was the player of the game for Ridgefield with and RBI and pitched 3 and 2/3 relief innings.
Video Highlights

Soccer

Championship Game
Tumwater 2, Columbia River 1

(Tumwater, WA) It has been since 2012 that the boys soccer District Championship resided with an EVCO 2A team and in fact it was the Tumwater Thunderbirds. That was Tumwater’s best season and the last time they had reached the State Tournament and only time they ever won a state tournament match and the only time they had reached the final 4 where they finished 4th.

Tumwater Coach Brett Bartlett has been on the verge of getting back in the state tournament with several frustrating 1 goal losses in the district tournament mostly to Columbia River and Woodland. The T-Birds had taken care of one of their long time foes in the semi-finals (story below) Woodland with a convincing 4-1 victory. The question was could they finally get by their other District rival in the newly re-named Rapids of Columbia River?

As this match started it appeared the same fate was about to behold the T-Birds. Columbia River came out with a ton of energy and very aggressive making run after run at the Tumwater backline and 1st half keeper AJ Heichelbech. In the 7th minute, C-R’s Owen Kerr set up a free kick from the 40 and launched it right in front of the goal in the box but Tumwater’s Pierce Yates was able to get a foot on the ball while 3 other Rapids players were converging and cleared it out of danger.

C-R’s attacks continued led by Owen, Alex Harris, Logan Simmons, Alex Brown and Greer Snellman. In the 9th minute another great opportunity for the Rapids when Harris and Elliot McClafferty each had chances to take shots from straight on inside the box by each time denied by spectacular back line play from Jack Armour, Adam El-Mobdy and Yates.

However, shortly after in the 10th minute the Rapids would find the break they had been looking for when Cole Benner threw the ball in to McClafferty who fired a shot on goal from inside the box but Heichelbech was there and blocked the shot but he could not control the ball and it dribbled out to his right where Logan Simmons was there to pummel it home and in the Rapids took an early 1-0 lead.

C-R continued their attack in the first 20 minutes about 75% of possession time was on the Tumwater side of the field. The T-Birds appeared a bit slow about a half step behind the Rapids and unable to get any real threat organized.

Then about the 22 minute mark the T-Birds began to flip the script. They began to embrace the physicality the lead official was allowing and understanding what he was going to let go and where his line was. The T-birds began to counter with runs of their own and in the 26th minute found a combination to even the match.

Sam Southworth had the ball on the far side of the field when he launched a sweet entry pass to Zack Schmidt across the field. to the left side of the C-R goal. Schmidt settled it and fired a shot across the goal to the left of keeper Cameron Givvines to even the match at 1-1.

The score would remain for the rest of the half and at the break it was 1-1. The 2nd half began somewhat similar with again Columbia River coming out attacking with purpose bent on re-taking the lead but the Tumwater defense again held with the solid work of the backline along with Chandler Stuart, Kai McCleod, Will Lower and 2nd half keeper Lukas Stuart.

Additionally, it didn’t take Tumwater 22 minutes to turn up the intensity and within the first 10 minutes and initial surge from the Rapids they were back battling and creating runs of their own. As Tumwater built their attacks they were also running into a determined C-R defense. Ryan Brown had an outstanding match denying the T-Birds with solid play from Bode Ostlund, Josh Ostlund and Rowen Naylor.

The Rapids keeper Cameron Givvines was terrific as well including a fabulous foot save in the 60th minute. But shortly after Tumwater would get their first corner kick. Schmidt lined it up and was looking to put the kick in directly and fired a shot on-line. As the ball approached the goal Givvines positioned himself to knock it down or catch it but Ta-Kashi Nielson had other ideas and stepped in to re-direct the ball past Givvines and into the net for the go-ahead and ultimately winning goal.

Tumwater would be District Champions for just the 2nd time in school history and 1st time since 2012 and would have qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2012 if there had been a state tournament. The T-Birds also got good efforts from Andrew Lowe, Sambou Jadama and Ben Larson.

Columbia River was certainly disappointed in coming up short, especially since they could not advance to the state tournament and find redemption coming off a 2nd in state finish last year and the Championship 2 years ago. The Rapids did get good work in this match off the bench from Carver Taylor, Nathan Bertolino and Nathan Gassaway.

Our Pacific Sports Spa visiting team player of the game went to Logan Simmons and our Thorbeckes home team player of the game went to Tumwater’s Zack Schmidt.

Video Highlights

Consolation 3rd Place Game
Aberdeen , Woodland Cancelled due to Covid, no make-up game scheduled

Semi-Finals
Tumwater 4, Woodland 1

In what turned out to be a bit of a battle of attrition in tonight’s district playoff game between Tumwater and WF West, it would be the Thunderbirds having the last laugh. Much like the previous match up between these two squads, the game would be decided by one goal in Tumwater’s favor.

That one goal difference happened to be the only goal of the night. Tumwater would take the lead and never look back thanks to the goal off of sophomore Myles Leneker’s foot near the three minute mark of the game. Little did everyone in that stadium know that, that would be the only ball to find the net so early in the game. That did not prevent what would be a very exciting game overall.

The majority of the first half would be played around midfield with both Tumwater and WF West taking turns pushing the ball deep into each others territory. Both of the goalies, AJ Heichelbech and Hayden Sciera would be up to the challenge though by not allowing a goal from those attempts to find their mark.

The second half of this match was much like the first half. Tumwater would make a substitution a keeper though, Lukas Stuart, and he would play a very big part in this Thunderbird victory tonight. The Bearcats would launch what was essentially a all out assault in the final 10 minutes or so of this game. Taking shot after shot. Stuart would get enough of a body part on the ball to deflect a great majority of these shots, he had some help from the Tumwater defenders though, at one time it looked like a T-Bird kicked the ball at their own goal in desperation of  knocking the ball out of bounds. It narrowly missed going in for a Bearcat goal. Ultimately, the final whistle would signal ending the Bearcat push to try and tie this game up.

Our Pacific Sports Spa visiting player of the game for WF West was the senior Jairo Lima Perez. Lima Perez was all over the field tonight for the Bearcat team despite being labeled as a defender on the roster supplied. He helped keep the pressure on Tumwater throughout the evening and still found himself back in time to play defense to help slam the door on Tumwater drives.

Our Thorbeckes home player of the game for Tumwater was Myles Leneker. Leneker would find himself in perfect position to take what turned out to be the game winning shot from about 18 out. It was more than just the goal tonight. In a match that overall could be summed up as a battle of field position, Leneker would have a foot on the ball several times to push the ball deeper into Bearcat territory, but only the one shot early in the game would find its mark.

Video Highlights (Tony Davila, Josh Kaiser)

Columbia River 2, Woodland 0

Story from The Daily World by Ryan Sparks

Baseball

ESN did not cover the Baseball Final 4, the live streaming was provided by Ridgefield. Below are links to coverage from other sources.

Championship Game
WF West 7, Tumwater 6
Consolation 3rd Place Game
Columbia River 3, Washougal 2

Semi-Finals
WF West 6, Columbia River 5 (8)
Tumwater 1, Washougal 0

(Ridgefield, WA) Fans certainly got their money’s worth in this Final 4 with a total of 29 innings and 4 games decided by just 1 run. In the Championship game, WF West and Tumwater met for the 3rd time this season and once again they did not disappoint in putting on a show. In their first match-up the Bearcats beat Tumwater 2-1, the T-Birds got their revenge 4-0 in their 2nd game. 

The consolation game also featured 2 teams who split during the season with Washougal beating the Rapids 2-1 with Columbia River bouncing back 13-2. 

Scorebook Live Coverage by Andy Buhler

Chronline Coverage by Sam Barbee

www.elisportsnetwork.com

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