Skyview softball reaches 4A semifinals

Storm will face Walla Walla Saturday in Spokane

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

Published:

Updated: May 27, 2011, 11:44 PM

 

SPOKANE — The Skyview softball team might need help in the math department, but they have this softball thing figured out.

“One word: Pretty amazing,” Skyview junior Alysa Huntley said after the Storm advanced to the Class 4A state semifinals Friday night.

“Whoops. Guess that’s two words.”

One word, two words, whatever. The Storm are two wins away from a state championship.

Madison Anthony went 4 for 4 with a home run and a triple, driving in four runs to lead the Storm to an 8-3 win over Jackson of Mill Creek in the quarterfinals.

“I just want to hit more. I just want to keep going. I just want to win,” Anthony said.

She and her teammates will get their chance early in the morning. Skyview will take on Walla Walla at 9 a.m. Saturday in one semifinal at Merkel Park. The championship game is scheduled for 3 p.m.

The Storm got to the quarterfinals with a 6-1 victory over Wenatchee. Skyview pitcher Michelle Brincefield struck out seven in her two-hitter.

“It’s really humbling to be able to play at this competitive level as a freshman,” Brincefield said. “Everyone is playing like they’ve been here before. It’s incredible to be on this great of a team.”

The Storm trailed in both games. But in both games, Anthony wiped away the deficit.

Her two-run triple in the third inning gave Skyview a 2-1 lead over Jackson. The Storm would push the lead to four runs with three in the fifth, then Anthony struck again in the sixth with a two-run home run.

Anthony said she wanted to make up for her struggles last week at the bi-district tournament. Her teammates, though, quickly reminded her that it was Anthony’s home run last week that tied the game that eventually got Skyview to state.

“Everybody picks up each other,” Anthony said. “We all push each other to our limits. We all care for each other so much.”

Skyview coach Traci Fuller has said for weeks that she has a team full of clutch players.

Case in point: Skyview’s No. 9 hitter, Huntley. She went 3 for 3 in the quarterfinals after going 2 for 3 in the opening round. It was her two-out hit that kept the inning alive for Anthony’s bomb in the Jackson game.

“If I get on, the top of the lineup’s coming up. If I get on, I know I’m going to advance,” Huntley said. “Once the bottom of the lineup gets on, I feel confident we’re going to be able to score.”

Freshman Emily Dobbin, the No. 3 hitter, also had a big day, driving in three runs with three hits in the two games.

Fuller said confidence is key right now, and right now, no team could have more of it than her squad.

“They amaze me and they continue to amaze me by their performance,” Fuller said. “They’re playing so well together that I feel we can beat anyone. I’m so confident in them. They’re just sitting on a cloud right now. They feel invincible.

“That’s a great feeling to have going into championship day.”

Brincefield was the lead story of the first game. She went 3 for 4 with a double and drove in a run to go with her two-hitter. The lone run against her was unearned.

Her only tough inning was wiped away by strong defense from her teammates.

With Skyview up 4-1, the Panthers led off the sixth inning with a walk, followed by a base hit from Lindy Holmberg. But left fielder Jessica Schaub threw out the runner trying to take third base, and the Storm then got Holmberg in a run-down and tagged her out for a strange-looking double play.

“It was a good way to deal with pressure,” Brincefield said. “Our defense showed up when they needed to.”

Wenatchee took a 1-0 lead in the third inning off of an error from Anthony.

No problem. Anthony responded with a two-run triple in the bottom of the third.

“I just knew I had to do something to get my team back in the game,” Anthony said. “My teammates were supporting me the whole way. They we’re keeping me up.”

The Storm kept each other going in the right direction Friday. In doing so, they found themselves in the state semifinals.

Class 4A state softball tournament

at Merkel Park, Spokane

First round

SKYVIEW 6, WENATCHEE 1

Wenatchee 001 000 0—1 2 2

Skyview 004 002 x—6 9 4

Skyview

Pitcher — Michelle Brincefield 7 IP, win, 7 Ks, 0 earned runs. Highlights — Madison Anthony 1-3, 3B, 2 RBI; Brincefield 3-4, 2B, RBI; Alysa Huntley 2-3; Kamille Dobbins 1-2, RBI; Emily Dobbin 1-2, 2 RBI; Addi Lies 1-4.

Quarterfinals

SKYVIEW 8, JACKSON 3

Skyview 002 032 1—8 11 2

Jackson 100 002 0—3 11 4

Skyview

Pitcher — Michelle Brincefield 7 IP, win, 3 Ks. Highlights — Madison Anthony 4-4, HR, 3B, 4 RBI; Katie Bittner 1-3; Alysa Huntley 3-3; Emily Dobbin 2-4, RBI; Addi Lies 1-3, RBI.