LACEY — It was pretty much over by the end of the second inning.
It was over by the end of the second inning.
Maybe sometime in the middle of that inning.
However, the Camas softball team’s dugout was as loud as any time in the game in the third, fourth, and fifth innings.
The season was just about over Saturday at the Regional Athletic Complex, but the Papermakers maintained their pride. In their team. In their season.
Wilson of Tacoma beat Camas 15-2 in the consolation quarterfinals.
The Papermakers, the lone softball team from Clark County in any classification to make it to the final day of the season, finished with a 22-6 record, and with league and district championships.
Senior Cali Mulholland was one of the loudest in the dugout.
“We were just giving everything we had. If we weren’t performing on the field, at least we could give our hearts and cheer on our teammates,” Mulholland said. “If we don’t pick them up, nobody else will.”
Mulholland said she had not given up hope, even after Wilson scored 10 runs in the second inning to take a 15-1 lead.
“My mindset was this is not how we play and we weren’t going to settle for it,” she said.
Indeed, the Papermakers did get the final seven batters out in order and they did score the final run of the game when Cailyn Grindy drove in Amee Aarhus in the fifth inning. The game was called after that frame due to the 10-run rule.
Mulholland had two hits in her final game, making her 8 of 10 in the tournament, with eight consecutive hits to end her high school career.
“It has been nothing but a great experience,” the four-year varsity player said. “I couldn’t ask for better teammates. I’ll remember them for the rest of my life.”
Camas will say goodbye to Mulholland, Sarah Nidick, and Mikaela Searight, but the younger Papermakers are already looking forward to next year when they will be a Class 4A program.
“Our main goal was to make it to Saturday,” junior Amee Aarhus said. “We accomplished that. This is just a learning experience. We’re going to come back next year even stronger, and we’ll know what to expect next time.”
“We don’t rebuild,” Camas coach Ken Nidick said, adding that his three seniors all had career years in their final seasons. “We’re losing three great ball players, but we’ll reload for next year.”