SPOKANE — The Skyview Storm posed with the team that just beat them for third place Saturday at the Class 4A state softball tournament.
Then the Storm posed alone with their fourth-place trophy.
There were some tears, but most of those fell because the season was finished.
None of them wanted to lose that last game of the season, but the Skyview Storm got what they came for when they left Vancouver to travel to the other corner of the state.
After reaching the championship’s final four, but then losing to eventual champion Walla Walla 1-0 in the semifinals, the Storm rebounded for a must-win over Wenatchee to get into a trophy game. Woodinville did get the best of Skyview in that final contest — 13-4 — but the Storm walked out of Merkel Park with the souvenir.
It is the first trophy for the program since the Storm placed fourth in 2002.
“It’s a huge honor for us,” said freshman Emily Dobbin, who bounced back after an injury knocked her out of the first game Saturday to play strong in the final two games. “We came out of league and (bi-district) with a lot of confidence. We just wanted to come here and get a name for Skyview, to get it back. It used to be big at Skyview.”
It looks like it is getting big again.
This Storm team will lose one senior — Kamille Dobbins — and they already are thinking ahead to next year and beyond.
“We’re just going to come back and win it,” sophomore Madison Anthony said. “We’re going to put our heart and soul into it.”
Anthony went 9 for 15 with a home run, two triples, seven runs scored, and she drove in six runs in the tournament. Dobbin was 6 of 12 and also drove in six runs. Alysa Huntley went 10 for 14 in the tournament.
Then there is freshman pitcher Michelle Brincefield, who held Walla Walla to three hits and one run in the semifinal.
Unfortunately for the Storm, they were held to two hits and no runs by Walla Walla pitcher Hope Klicker. Alyson Ambler’s home run in the fourth inning was the first hit of the game for Walla Walla.
The Blue Devils would go on to beat Marysville-Pilchuck, also 1-0, in the championship game.
The Storm even gave a cheer when their day was done to the fact that they came pretty darn close to getting to that title game. The 1-0 loss showed they were plenty capable.
Even right after that Saturday morning loss, Brincefield had a positive outlook.
“That was just a great game,” Brincefield said before praising her teammates.
“I don’t think I could play for a better defense.”
She noted sensational plays from her center fielder, Dobbins in place of the injured Dobbin, and shortstop Alison Paladeni, as well as Anthony, who made several stops at third base.
The Storm then had to bounce back in a consolation elimination game. Skyview ended up beating Wenatchee for the second time in two days, this time a 7-2 decision. Jessica Schaub had three hits and drove in two runs, Katie Bittner had a run-scoring triple, and Paladeni had a two-run double in the attack.
The Storm were still in the third-place game until the sixth inning, when Woodinville hit three home runs in a seven-run outburst to take a nine-run lead.
Dobbin drove in three runs for the Storm. Her fifth-inning hit pulled her team to within two runs at 6-4.
The comeback stalled, Woodinville got the higher place, but the Storm were celebrating, too.
“We wanted to make it to state. Then we wanted to be in the top 10. Then we wanted to be in the top six. We just kept hitting all of our goals,” Skyview coach Traci Fuller said. “I am so proud of them and the way they played. They did way better than I thought they could. I think they felt the same way.”
Fuller didn’t even skip a beat before concluding with what is sure to motivate this young squad.
“Can’t wait to come back next year.”