Ridgefield softball gains experience

Spudders go 2-2 at 1A tournament

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

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SPOKANE — Ridgefield softball is back.

That’s how coach Ed Bate described the season after the Spudders went 2-2 in the Class 1A state tournament. The team left without a trophy but gained experience.

And had an experience, too.

“Our team clicked. We had fun doing it,” senior Erin Bate said. “We worked hard in practice, and it showed at the end of the season.”

Erin also said it was special to play for her dad, and to end her career with a trip to state while representing her school. Erin Bate and Karlee Kammer are the lone seniors on the squad.

The rest of the Spudders believe this will not be their last trip to the sweet 16.

Ridgefield lost late Friday in the championship quarterfinals, falling into the consolation bracket. Because rain delayed the first day, the Spudders would have needed to win three games Saturday just to play in the trophy game.

They got the first game of the day, a 6-1 victory over River View of Kennewick. Erin Bate had two doubles and drove in two runs. Shannon Boyle struck out three in the victory.

Ridgefield was looking at sealing win No. 2 of the day, but Montesano scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh for a 5-4 win, ending the Spudders’ season.

It was a crushing defeat, but it did not crush the team’s outlook for the future.

“They want to get back here, and they want to improve on it,” Ed Bate said. “You can tell.”