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2A softball: Ridgefield goes hitless in district final loss to W.F. West

Spudders quickly switch focus on heading to state

By Paul Valencia, Columbian High School Sports Reporter
Published: May 19, 2017, 10:39pm

LONGVIEW — Lexie Strasser said she knew she had a no-hitter going Friday evening when she walked to the pitching circle for the seventh inning.

She had a no-hitter, along with no worries.

“I don’t really get nervous. I just go out there and focus,” Strasser said. “Don’t think about anything else. Just focus on the game.”

Strasser completed the no-hitter, leading W.F. West to a 4-0 victory over Ridgefield in the championship game of the Class 2A District 4 softball tournament at 7th Ave. Park.

The Bearcats won their sixth consecutive district crown.

Ridgefield had to settle for the second-place trophy. Still, the Spudders accomplished what they set out to do when this tournament started Thursday. They have qualified for the Class 2A state tournament in Selah next week.

“This loss is hard, but we’re going to come out next week with fire because we are excited to do our best,” Ridgefield sophomore Sarah Jenkins said.

Ridgefield is the lone 2A Greater St. Helens League squad to make it to state. Hockinson fought its way to the third-place game Friday with a win over Columbia River, but then lost an elimination game to Tumwater 6-1.

W.F. West jumped on Ridgefield with two runs in the first inning, then added two unearned runs in the sixth for the four-run advantage. The Bearcats only needed one.

“We didn’t hit the ball at all,” Jenkins said. “We need to adjust a little better on that. Small things that we have to clean up.”

Strasser, who struck out six, retired the first 10 batters she faced before issuing a walk in the fourth inning. She then got the next 11 Spudders to record the no-no.

“I’m a little ticked about my walk,” she said. “But I was happy with everyone’s performance tonight.”

She said W.F. West softball is known for its balance of confidence but not too much confidence. The Bearcats always expect to win, but it’s because they never fail to focus on the things that lead to winning.

“I don’t know of anyone else who has done it this many times in a row,” she said of the six-year district reign.

The Spudders, who tied Columbia River for the 2A GSHL regular-season crown, would love to end that streak next season. The team has two seniors.

“We’re looking forward to next week (at state),” Jenkins said, “but we’re also looking forward to next year and growing as a program and working together.”

Hockinson rallied from an early deficit to beat Columbia River 5-3 in the third-place semifinals. Tumwater, though, scored four runs in the top of the first of the elimination game.

Jenna Remenar went 2 for 3 with two RBI and Jaylee Robinson-Waser was 2 for 2 for Hockinson against River.

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